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UNESCO and Coca-Cola use arts to raise recycling awareness
The Saigon Times Daily
Tuesday,  Oct 23, 2018,12:02 (GMT+7)

UNESCO and Coca-Cola use arts to raise recycling awareness

The Saigon Times Daily

Representatives of UNESCO and Coca-Cola are seen at the signing event after they reach a partnership in using arts to raise recycling awareness - PHOTO: COURTESY OF UNESCO

HCMC - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced a new partnership with Coca-Cola Vietnam and its development partners in Hanoi with a view to reduce plastics and solid waste in Vietnam for a “World without Waste”.

Hosted in the Green One UN Building, the event was a special occasion to link up all active UN agencies, government bodies and relevant development partners, private sector, local NGOs and young Vietnamese activists and students with collective actions.

During the event, representatives from UNESCO and British Council shared their new initiatives in recycling and waste management in collaboration with Coca-Cola, particularly in tackling plastics pollution from a cultural, educational, creative and artistic point of view.

The partnership between UNESCO and Coca-Cola, in conjunction with a variety of interventions in scientific research and policy development by the UN in Vietnam, focuses on raising community awareness and encouraging creative ideas in reducing plastics and solid waste.

Within this partnership framework, UNESCO and Coca-Cola will launch the Art of Recycle Awards that will call for creative talents in developing artworks using recycled materials. The Award will be opened for all individuals or groups of Vietnamese citizens aged 15 years old and above.

There are two award categories including one targeting accomplished artists and the other for students and communities. Participants are encouraged to propose ideas for artistic projects and outdoor display designs to reuse single-use plastic and aluminum waste.

Apart from the specific awards, the program will provide financial support for the implementation of the best ideas, with a maximum amount of VND100 million.

Also in this joint commitment, UNESCO and Coca-Cola will take concrete actions at primary tourism destinations in Vietnam, including World Heritage sites and coastal communities, in practical solutions in reducing and recycling of plastics and other solid waste.

Michael Croft, head of UNESCO Hanoi office, highlighted the innovative approach in addressing environmental issues: “We see the potential to make art out of waste, and to connect people through creativity and imagination. Waste might just be waste, but it might also be artistic inspirations for artists. At the same time, we harness the power of the art to tell a story, to harness its ability to provoke thought and emotion leading to action”.

Speaking at the launching event, Hiroshi Kanazawa, general manager of Coca-Cola Indochina, said: “Every package has value and life beyond its initial use and should be collected and recycled into either a new package or another beneficial use. We believe in the strong collaboration and expect to see positive impacts we can offer to local communities through these meaningful programs.”

In tandem with the project implemented by UNESCO, Coca-Cola’s partnership with British Council drives social entrepreneurship and community engagement through the Ekocenter program across the country in the next two years, focusing on environmental awareness and waste management.

These newly signed partnerships nurture a wide array of educational programs, creativity activities and contests as well as strong communications with public and authorized organizations in fostering the awareness and actions for plastic waste management.

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