The campaign as launched on Saturday, 11 February 2006 at Parkway Parade.
At 8am, Weisong, Chenkee, Yueat Tin and I went down to Parkway Parade with RMBR newsletters and museum roundtable brochures. We were met by the team of girls from the RGS green club with their teacher Beng Chiak representing both NSS and RGS. The girls were earlier than us, with plastic bags already decorating our panels. Our school booths were also bustling with activity.
Before and after
It worried us for a while that our booth lacked half our titles and had no panels. The panel was 1 hour late but eventually arrived to our relief. Yueat Tin brought her laptop and customized a ICCS presentation to autorun at the booth.
Luckily, as promised by the organizers NEA, our titles were delivered minutes before the guest of honor, Dr Yacob Ibrahim, arrived and Weisong, the tall one in the group, kindly put it up for us.
The morning was very successful as most of the crowds were students and teachers who were participating in the launch and were very interested in the issue of marine trash caused by plastics. Many were interested in participating in ICCS, and organizing talks for their schools. However, other booths with games and free giveaways were decidedly more popular than ours. This could possibly be something we could look into next time. Books were also very popular as when the guest of honor visited our booth, A/P Simon Tay, the chairman of NEA, picked up the Chek Jawa guidebook sold by NSS and decided to buy a copy after browsing! On the other hand, SEC sold out their books within minutes of being swarmed by teachers.
Our booth design was also one of the cleanest, tidiest, yet informative one. The idea of using panels was convenient not just for setting up but presentation is clear and attractive. More would come to the booth if the set up was more interactive with quizzes, or things for people to do at our booth. Of course, more than ever, we realize the usefulness of the namecard we printed for Giving Tree as we did not have them this round, we felt their absence more.
Having a booth right beside NEA’s was also useful as it gave us much chance to give feedback to them and learn qutie a bit more about plastic recycling. For example, plastic bags can actually be recycled by putting them in recycling bin, they will be collected. In fact, as long as any plastic bottles that are cleaned and not contaminated is recyclable. There were also much of an issue that reusable bags were being given out in plastic bags and NEA received due feedback.
Still, this is a good attempt by NEA and now if you see this sign at any of the supermarkets involved or any of the shops in Parkway Parade, you will know they are a participating outlet. During the launch, reusable bags printed with each of the supermarket’s unique design was also given away.
Sadly, the hypermart Giant that was in Parkway Parade was not a participating supermarket.
Pledge to use reusable bag or less plastic bags today!