UNDP Cambodia and AEON Mall partnership for “Accelerating the achievement of the SDGs and fostering a green, circular economy in Cambodia”

November 17, 2023


Phnom Penh, 17th November 2023 – Today, at the launching of the 3-day campaign “Together We Act for the SDGs” at AEON mall Sen Sok, AEON Mall Cambodia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a memorandum of understanding whereby they commit to work together to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs and to foster a green and circular economy in Cambodia. 

Today plastic pollution has become a global environmental crisis, posing serious risks to our environment and our health. Plastics are everywhere in our lives, as they are so convenient and cheap. However, the problem is that plastics are often burned or thrown away on streets and waterways. Those mismanaged plastic have negatively impacted our air, rivers and oceans, and destroyed the beauty of our sceneries impacting on the medium to long-run tourists’ attraction.

Plastic pollution is also increasingly visible in Cambodia, due to the rapid economic and pollution growth. It has become an urgent task for the country to transition to a circular economy with the view to reduce and recycle the ever-growing volume of plastic waste and plastic pollution. 

“UNDP and the Ministry of Environment are working diligently to tackle the plastic crisis, said Ms. Alissar CHAKER, UNDP Resident Representative in Cambodia. She highlighted the integrated approach UNDP is promoting, which focuses on fostering an enabling policy environment, social behavioural change, and business development, adding that “The private sector has a critical role to advance sustainable development in the Kingdom. Such efforts are not only acts of altruism or ideology but also a source of income. UNDP published in 2022 the SDGs Investor Map that showcased lucrative business prospects in Cambodia that can accelerate the SDGs”. She ended “We are very proud to expand our network of partners today with AEON Mall, a proud role model, for fighting plastic pollution in Cambodia”.  

Echoing Ms. Chaker, Mr. Tsuboya Masayuki, Managing Director AEON MALL stated “AEON mall Cambodia has a corporate commitment to promote SDGs implementation. For plastic management, AEON mall Cambodia has supported awareness raising activities, waste segregation and plastic recycling pilot initiatives. We will continue to support outreach activities to mobilize citizens and businesses for accelerating the SDGs implementation and promote sustainable practices for fostering circular economy in Cambodia to tackle plastic pollution”.  

Ms. Alissar Chaker, concluded that “Together with AEON Mall Cambodia and all stakeholders, we will seek to accelerate national efforts to combat plastic pollution and ensure a healthy and sustainable future for Cambodia. 



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UNDP is the United Nations' global development network and is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.  Since 2018, UNDP Cambodia has supported the Ministry of Environment in fighting plastic pollution. Our support to the government centred on the four key areas of work: 1) policy and regulation, 2) awareness raising for behavioural change, 3) circular business development, and 4) improved capacity in target provinces.


About the combatting marine plastic litter project implemented by the Ministry of Environment with support from the Embassy of Japan and UNDP (2021-2024)


Since 2021, UNDP has supported the Ministry of Environment for implementing the combatting marine plastic litter project, funded by Japan. The project aimed to address plastics challenge through developing enabling regulations, promoting behaviour change, testing circular business solutions and strengthening local capacity in select provinces.


To enable the wider adoption of circular solutions, UNDP has supported the government for drafting of sub-Decree on Plastic Management, which included new measures to limit the usage of single-use plastic products. Cambodia is also holding policy dialogue with diverse parties on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – a principle that holds companies accountable for plastics usage throughout the lifecycle of their products. 


Seeking to raise awareness among citizens and businesses to change behaviours towards circular solutions, the project worked with celebrities, social media influencers and community leaders and promoted around 300 videos – reaching over 2 million people through Facebook and Tik Tok. 


For businesses, a major challenge was the use of single-use plastics for packaging, which are the dominant types of plastic waste found in landfills and waterways. On top of this, the rapid expansion of food delivery services has resulted a massive volume of single-use plastics packaging. To address this, the initiative worked with businesses to identify alternative options and innovative solutions such as rice straws, and banana fibers for packaging. The project also developed a manual for the hospitality sector to reduce plastics use and further explored ways to close the circular loop, by testing a new business model of mixing waste into asphalt production.


For coastal areas in Sihanoukville, where marine plastic pollution is particularly serious, UNDP supported the Ministry of Environment for extensive outreach activities and distribution of needed equipment such as waste bines and traps to prevent plastic waste flowing into oceans. Schools were another area of intervention. Close to 100 schools received new water filtration systems – which helped ensure availability of clean, safe drinking water for more than 100,000 students while contributing to the reduction of PET bottle usages by 30 tons per year. 


Through this project, the Kingdom has already built a crucial foundation that would enable future climate-friendly and circular economy actions against plastic pollution. UNDP will continue working with the government and all stakeholders to achieve our shared vision for addressing the global plastic crisis and ensuring a low-carbon and sustainable future.