Plastic Ban Mission

Oman’s environment agency wants a ban on plastic bags. As reported by Times of Oman, “Plastic is not banned in Oman, but the government is working on that,” said Yusra Jaffer, PR manager of the Environment Society of Oman (ESO). Environment Society of Oman (ESO) has been working hard for years to address the harmful effects of plastic on the environment. Plastic is produced and used in large quantities across the world.

According to ESO, approximately 5 trillion plastic bags are produced each year. Plastic bags are mostly handed out for free and are therefore used liberally. The average plastic bag is used for 20 minutes before being thrown away. Even the small proportion that are re-used will eventually either end up in a landfill or as litter on land. As they are a recent invention, they do not yet know for how long they last— current estimates stand between 400 and 1,000 years.

Photo courtesy of The Times of Oman

Plastic – it’s all around us

It’s everywhere around us from our homes to offices and yards. We also use it for food package, bottle products, bag products, make toys…  Plastics have certainly helped us to manufacture, package and ship goods more easily for less money and in some cases more safely than ever before but, plastics create a major threat to our planet as well.

The very qualities that make it an adaptable and durable product to use, also make plastic an environmental nightmare. Plastics do not biodegrade. Instead they photodegrade – breaking down under exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, into smaller and smaller pieces.

Simple local actions can help make an impact to solve this global issue.

Awareness Actions at OurPlanet school

At OurPlanet school we teach our students how to take care of our planet.  We integrate sustainability principals into the learning experience through our Primary Years Programme units of inquiry and school-wide special events that help students consider the impact human actions have on the planet, and the role they can play in minimising that impact. These popular projects include:

  • Recycling – OurPlanet Muscat hosts the only recycling centre in Oman. Many families bring in plastic, paper and cardboard, which we then send to local companies for processing.
  • Community service projects – OurPlanet Muscat organises conservation projects that get the entire community involved, such as cleaning up a local mangrove reserve.
  • Earth Day – During this annual, day-long event, OurPlanet Muscat students visit a series of interactive learning stations, including planting, a scavenger hunt, puzzles, games and a nature film to explore different aspects of sustainability.
  • World Oceans Day – Every June, students celebrate the oceans’ diversity by producing paintings, drawings, photographs and models of creatures found off the Omani coast, including frilled sharks, leatherback turtles, cuttlefish, octopus and great whites.
  • International Environmental Days – We celebrate every opportunity to raise awareness of our fragile planet. For example, Grade 2 students measured the water they saved by turning off the tap while brushing their teeth for World Water Day.
  • Weekly classroom sessions – To supplement the curriculum, our Sustainability Coordinator leads age-appropriate discussions and activities on various environmental topics.
  • International Eco-Schools Programme – OurPlanet Muscat connects with like-minded teachers and students at schools around the globe, competing for eco awards as we learn together about sustainability and environmental protection.