NIST INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

| Bangkok, Thailand The first full, not-for-profit IB World School in Thailand
Plastic Free NIST works to eradicate the use of plastic at NIST through providing sustainable alternatives while educating the NIST community of the plastic problem.

Our Profile

Today, more than a 100 million tons of plastic are drifting around our oceans because plastic doesn’t biodegrade; it lasts for nearly 500 years. Exposure to sun, wind, water makes the plastic break down into smaller and smaller pieces, called microplastics. These plastics contain a high concentration of agricultural and industrial toxins. Animals commonly mistake plastic for food and eat it, resulting in severe consequences for the future of marine life and our consumption of fish and seafood. Microplastics in our fresh waterways even end up polluting our drinking water and table salt.

Plastic Free NIST is a group of students who have been tirelessly working to shift our school toward reduced use and disposal of single-use plastics. From uniforms wrapped in paper rather than plastic bags, smoothie plastic cups now made of cassava, and no more single-use plastic straws, there are school-wide changes taking place. Plastic Free NIST has been the trigger in getting these changes implemented, and plan to continue to endorsing new systems within our school community and wider Bangkok to work towards far more sustainable lives.

Our service group partnered with Bamboo Lao, a social enterprise working to improve the lives of villagers in Ban Donekang, outside of Luang Prabang, while providing sustainable alternatives to plastic straws. The villagers produce multi-use bamboo straws which we advocate for and distribute amongst our own school, businesses and individuals in Bangkok, and wider Thailand.

In addition to school events and fairs such as Starry Nights and Festive Coffee Morning, Plastic Free NIST is sought after to participate in Bangkok events such as the Thailand Dive Expo; UNESCO’s World Science Day; The Mind, Body, Spirit Fair; and the ServICE: Inspire, Connect, Empower Conference.

Which UN Sustainable Development Goals Do We Support?

To provide a clear context for the aims of service groups at NIST, we align our projects to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The SDGs work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations.” This NIST group supports the following goals:

Key Contacts & Experts

Are you interested in learning more about this group? Contact one of the team members to discover ways that you can become involved.

Bruno D.

Bruno D.

Student Leader

21brunod@nist.ac.th
Kenshin U.

Kenshin U.

Student Leader

21kenshinu@nist.ac.th
Shivam K.

Shivam K.

Student Leader

21shivamk@nist.ac.th
Tor (Panlerd) B.

Tor (Panlerd) B.

Student Leader

21torb@nist.ac.th
Caitlin B.

Caitlin B.

Teacher Mentor

cbell@nist.ac.th
Cindy C.

Cindy C.

Teacher Mentor

cichen@nist.ac.th
Henry L.

Henry L.

Teacher Mentor

hliou@nist.ac.th

Sustainability & Transparency

All NIST service groups are held to our community’s high standards and values: integrity, caring, community and growth.

Long-Term Goals

In Plastic Free NIST, we envision a world where

  • natural biodiverse habitats are maintained safely and sustainably
  • members of the NIST community understand the importance of their own actions related to plastic consumption.
  • the Bangkok community works to reduce plastic consumption on a community scale by using sustainable alternatives.

PLASTIC CUPS SAVED

Annually, NIST will save around 30,000 plastic cups by replacing them with the sustainable biodegradable cassava cups in cafeterias.

PLASTIC STRAWS SAVED

In the past year, Plastic Free NIST has sold over 5,000 bamboo straws to members of the NIST community and beyond. If each straw has an average lifespan of 150 uses, then over 750,000 plastic straws have been saved.

RAISED FOR BAMBOO LAO (THB)

In the past year, Plastic Free NIST has sold over 5,000 bamboo straws to members of the NIST community and beyond. If each straw has an average lifespan of 150 uses, then over 750,000 plastic straws have been saved.

Bong, Producer and Community Leader

“Since BambooLao partnered with the students from Plastic Free NIST in 2017, the lives of many people in our village in Ban Donekang have greatly improved. Jobs in the village have been created, generating incomes of up to five times higher than before. Parents are now able to send their children to school. With the production of reusable bamboo straws (ancient knowledge of hunters and gatherers) we have one product that solves two world issues simultaneously: decreasing poverty and preventing millions of plastic straws ending up in the Great Mekong region. The farmers are now even able to build new houses to resist the harsh monsoon season and to avoid yearly floodings.”

Aunva (Ahkhapuch) Ahkkhararsathesupar

“I’m Aunva, a year 8 student, and I joined Plastic Free NIST at the beginning of the last academic year. I have always been interested and wanted to help stop global Issues like climate change. For my year 6 exhibition, I did a project about global warming and learned a lot more about plastic and its impact on our planet. When I found out there was a service group called Plastic Free NIST, I decided to join it. By joining this group, I have become so much more aware about the use of plastic, and how important it is that we reduce our consumption of it in our community. After joining the service group, I barely buy plastic products or products that are wrapped or contained in plastic. I am glad that I am able to partake in such a large movement (which is still growing), and make a strong positive impact on the community and environment. I also learned to be more responsible and better at managing my time, because I now attend meetings and help out with booths. I am glad to have an opportunity to be a part of Plastic Free NIST, because the amount of plastic that we reduce is truly significant for our future.”

Find Resources

Access curriculum and learning materials that help develop and support our aims. Get inspired and feel supported with materials to help you take on service learning in your own community.

Visit the Plastic Free NIST Twitter page to learn more about our group, see photos from our archives and read the latest updates about our activities.

Contact us to learn how you can support this NIST service group. Whether you wish to donate, offer your expertise, provide resources or more, get in touch!
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