The Jakarta Post
The student admissions committee at SMPN 1 Jogonalan junior high school in Klaten, Central Java, is requiring all applicants to bring in used plastic bottles in exchange for admissions packets.
“We want to instill the early habit of reducing plastic waste,” SMPN 1 Jogonalan principal Endah Sulistyowati said recently.
The school has long advocated for reducing plastic waste, running the Plastic Diet program that encouraged its students to minimize their daily use of plastics.
“At other schools, applicants are required to pay Rp 5,000 [25 US cents] for the [admissions packet]," said Endah. At SMPN 1 Jogonalan, the admissions packet could be had "for a used plastic bottle”.
She said that the collected bottles would be recycled into ecobricks.
“We can use the bricks for building the school fence and other needs,” she said, adding that the school had collected more than 500 used plastic bottles in only two days.
The school also bans its canteen from using plastic packaging.
“All students are obliged to bring their reusable food and beverage containers to school,” said Endah.
Parents and students have welcomed the school’s initiatives, saying that they should be replicated in other schools.
“This way is better than paying Rp 10,000 for [an admissions] folder,” said Pratiwi, a parent.