I was on a 3-month bike ride across five countries of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand , Cambodia and Nepal, to challenge the everyday use of plastic through an activity called Plogging – a mix of jogging and picking up trash.
Dwarfed by the five-feet jumble of trash along Route 13, the lifeline of Laos, he nervously poked his stubby walking stick to dislodge the mound. On further coaxing, the precarious heap collapsed, scattered unceremoniously. Unable to conceal his excitement, a shrill wave of laughter escaped from his mouth. A flimsy polythene bag hung from one side of his trousers, and each time he took a few steps to survey the trash site, the transparent polythene, now full of aluminum cans and plastic cola bottles, clanged against his pants, in sync with his movement. Now, a treasure trove of trash lay ahead of him. In one hand, he held a soiled styrofoam plate and an aluminum cola can on the other. He flung the styrofoam back and walked away with a bunch of cans salvaged from the heap.
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- Cambodia is drowning in its waste, here’s how it can plug the plastic flow