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Project information

Tackling plastic rubbish in rural Myanmar

In remote rural areas of Myanmar, plastics tend to simply get discarded, or worse still dropped into the rivers. We want to fund a project to tackle this problem in an area very familiar to us, and develop scaleable approaches that can be extended. Where possible, we will seek recycling options.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Helping The Burmese Delta

Helping The Burmese Delta logo
  • Need


    Plastic rubbish is a worldwide problem with major consequences. We work in remote areas of the Irrawaddy Delta of Myanmar, a poverty stricken world where environmental issues get little attention. Villages here are littered with rubbish because there are no systems for dealing with it, and much of the plastic ends up in the many streams, and eventually the ocean.

    We are determined to work with the villages that we know well to develop approaches to tackle this problem.


    This is not a simple problem! The first stages of the project will be research, to examine the extent and nature of the rubbish, what if anything happens to it now, and assess villagers' knowledge of and attitudes to plastics.

    We will collect samples of rubbish and get them classified according to safe disposal methods.

    This will lead to a set of procedures to dispose of rubbish in a practical way, that we can pilot with interested villages and schools, giving demonstrable improvements.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To develop a practical system for disposing of waste in rural villages in the Irrawaddy Delta.


    » Research to establish the current situation and practices among the villagers of the region, including the nature of the waste.
    » Develop a practical model for how a village or school can dispose of its waste safely and prevent pollution, including education through schools.
    » Pilot the model's implementation in our High School, and up to three interested villages, then fine-tune the approach for scaling.

    What success will look like

    By the successful conclusion of the pilot and effective implementation, leading to safe disposal of waste, and acceptance by the villagers of the benefits.

  • Impact


    If the project is successful, long term it is in principle readily scaleable. However, experience shows that even if the approach works, it can be a long consultation process to get villages to adopt new ideas.

    The primary outcome would be the number of villages adopting the process. Hopefully over time this will reduce rubbish in the whole district, and especially in the streams and rivers.


    The main risk is that the villagers may not understand or agree with the need for action. However, having worked closely with them for 10 years, they know and trust us, so we believe we can find pilot villages to act as willing guinea pigs.

    The second risk is that any solution involves a level of voluntary work, which in practice proves too onerous. It is therefore important to try to make our suggestions easy to implement.


    We report direct, and through our website, newsletters, and Facebook.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Time Cost of our team's work in executing the project
      £2,000 Local costs Expenses incurred locally in the villages
      £1,000 Travel costs Travel costs for the team
  • Background


    This will take place in the 30 or so villages centred on Yay Kyaw Toe, Bogalay Township, Irrawaddy Division, Myanmar.

    We have worked in the area for ten years, building and operating schools, training health workers, conducting water projects, and implementing pig breeding schemes to alleviate poverty. It is an extremely poor area with no roads, minimal healthcare, and only a little solar energy.


    The villagers in the project, and more widely in the district.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are effectively the experts in this district, which is unvisited by other NGO's, and receives little government support. We have a long and strong track record of implementation in a variety of sectors.

    We recognise that we have little technical knowledge of rubbish disposal at the moment, but will seek advice from the appropriate experts.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    U Htoo Hlaing Win

    He is our Myanmar Country Manager and will lead the project management.

    Alan Francis

    Alan works closely with us on this issue, and will lead the research needed, and work on development of our approach.