Waste Hero Education in Southeast Asia

Wednesday, 08 November 2023 |
Waste Hero Education in Southeast Asia

Piyapa Su-angavatin | Programme Officer | SEAMEO SEPS


In a collaborative effort to champion waste management and recycling education throughout Southeast Asia, the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Sufficiency Economy Philosophy for Sustainability (SEAMEO SEPS) has joined forces with Indorama Ventures PCL and the support of eight other dedicated partners. Together, they have embarked on an inspiring initiative known as the "Waste Hero” programme.

At the heart of this endeavor lies the "Waste Hero: Reduce to Zero Master Teacher Training Series," a comprehensive online training program designed to empower educators in five Southeast Asian nations: the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Taking place from July to October 2023, this training series consists of three core pillars: Recycling Fundamentals, Creating Zero Waste, and Building the Circular Economy.

The primary objective? To equip teachers across various educational levels, from kindergarten to vocational and technical schools, with a profound understanding of waste management and the circular economy. Beyond theory, this programme empowers educators to craft impactful lesson plans and integrate Waste Hero educational materials into their classroom activities and co-curricular programmes.

As a tangible outcome of their participation, teachers will gain access to a valuable resource – editable and printable "Waste Hero" teaching materials. This comprehensive resource comprises 19 activity-based lessons and workshops, all thoughtfully designed to engage students in the critical concepts of waste reduction and sustainable practices. These resources will be readily available for free download, ensuring that the knowledge and insights gained through the Waste Hero programme can be widely shared and applied, ultimately fostering a generation of environmental stewards across Southeast Asia.


Description 1 Description 2 Description 3

The "Waste Hero: Reduce to Zero Master Teacher Training," conducted in July 2023 for educators in the Philippines and Indonesia, made a profound impact. It successfully reached out to an impressive cohort of approximately 608 teachers, representing more than 258 schools in the Philippines and over 175 schools in Indonesia.

In the aftermath of this training initiative, the transformative ripple effect was evident. A Post- Training Report revealed that 70 of the participating teachers took proactive steps, engaging approximately 9,540 students in Waste Hero classroom activities within their respective schools. Moreover, these educators generously shared their newfound knowledge with approximately 1,026 fellow teachers and community members, extending the reach of waste management and environmental awareness beyond the classroom.

The training programme served as an inspirational catalyst, motivating teachers to spearhead waste management and environmental initiatives within their schools and communities. These initiatives, driven by their commitment, promise to bring enduring benefits to both educational institutions and the broader community.

Ms. Suchitra Lohia, Deputy Group CEO and Chairperson of Corporate Social Responsibility at Indorama Ventures, expressed her pride in the collaboration with SEAMEO SEPS on this influential project. She emphasised their mutual dedication to fostering recycling and environmental consciousness throughout Southeast Asia. As the world's largest PET resin producer and recycler, the Waste Hero programme holds immense significance as a means of empowering upcoming generations with the essential knowledge and skills for efficient waste reduction, sorting, and disposal. Ultimately, this initiative is a catalyst for instigating positive change and laying the groundwork for a more sustainable future.

Ms. Duriya Amatavivat, the Center Director of SEAMEO SEPS, highlighted the resonant synergy between the Sufficiency Economy philosophy and the principles of responsible waste management, which include recycling education. This partnership with Indorama Ventures, alongside the steadfast support of eight collaborating partners, provides a unique opportunity to instill these values among young Southeast Asians through innovative educational resources. The ultimate aim is to cultivate responsible global citizenship that can play a pivotal role in shaping a sustainable future.

Notably, this programme has forged robust collaborations with the Ministries of Education across Southeast Asian countries and received unwavering support from eight key partners, namely: UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office in Bangkok, Yunus Thailand Foundation, Southeast Asia One Health University Network (SEAOHUN),  SEAMEO  Secretariat,  SEAMEO  SEAMOLECSEAMEO  RECSAMSEAMEO  TED,  and SEAMEO RETRAC. Their invaluable contributions and support have been instrumental in driving the success of this endeavour.

The Waste Hero: Reduce to Zero Master Teacher Training Programme is scheduled for Cambodia on October 6, 2023, followed by Vietnam and Malaysia on October 7, 2023.

To join the Waste Hero initiative, please visit www.wasteheroeducation.com. You can also reach out to us via email at wastehero@seameoseps.org. We look forward to your participation!