Arnika with high school students from České Budějovice finding out to what extent people avoid food packed in PVC

1.10.2007 - České Budějovice

Ecological-consumers survey will be launched on 2 October by the students of High School of Trade, Services and Entrepreneurship in front of supermarket Albert in the center of town České Budějovice. Aim of the survey is to find out if people chose goods also according criteria of packaging material and whether they avoid food packed in PVC (polyvinylchloride). Those living in České Budějovice can get involved in the survey in upcoming two weeks by filling a questionnaire in front of Hypernova in Nádražní street and Albert in one of following locations: Suchovrbenské náměstí, Lannova třída, Milady Horákové a Pekárenská ulice (1). Results will be published by the end of November.

The survey is a part of Arnika´s project (2) which aims to reduce consumption and usage of PVC. „PVC is a highly problematic plastic material in terms of impacts on environment and human health. It contains many toxic chemicals which leak from it during its usage. We can find these substances despite legal measures in food packages and children toys in surprisingly high concentrations,“ said Jitka Straková, head of Arnika´s branch in České Budějovice.

As she added, PVC is also complicated as for its liquidations. „PVC can hardly be recycled. It does not belong to container for plastic materials as it can devaluate recycling of other plastics placed in the containers for separated waste.. When it is placed on landfills, heavy metals and toxic softeners leak from it. When incinerated, hazardous dioxins leak out into the environment as emissions.“

The survey precedes a wider educational campaign which will take place České Budějovice for next 6 months. „We want to warn as many people as possible about the risks of PVC. We are going to organise lectures, discussions, informative kiosks and exhibitions not only in this town but in whole region of southern Czech Republic,“ said Straková.

The high school students will get involved in the educational activities too. „Cooperation on the project will become part of environmental education in our school. We think up activities for students such as making video on PVC issues. We want to teach them working with data - outputs of the consumers´ questionnaire, and writing a press release. We want the student to make public presentation of their results at the end of the project,“ said coordinator of school activities RNDr. Yveta Smíšková.

(1) Questionnaire can be filled in on Tuesday 2 October from 1 to 3 p.m. in front of Albert, Lannova street.

(2) The project is called „Environmentally friendly public institutions and services“ in the regions of Ústí nad Labem and České Budějovice“. One of its goals is increasing the percentage share of environmentally aware consumers in both regions. The project is also focused one gradual substitution of PVC in hospitals and facilities working with children and on „greener“ functioning of administration.

The project is supported by grant from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway within the Financial mechanism of EEC and Norwegian financial mechanism by the Foundation of Development of Civil Society (NROS).


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