Agricultural Technology Lecturer Conducts Education on the Use of Plastic Packaging in Food Products and Their Impact on Health and the Environment at Dangau Datuk Agribusiness Vocational School, Bengkulu City

Agricultural Technology Lecturer Conducts Education on the Use of Plastic Packaging in Food Products and Their Impact on Health and the Environment at Dangau Datuk Agribusiness Vocational School, Bengkulu City

Community service activities will be held on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at SMK Agribusiness Dangau Datuk Bengkulu. This activity raised the topic of education on the use of plastic packaging in food products and its impact on health and the environment.

SMK Agribusiness Dangau Datuk Bengkulu is a Private Vocational High School under the auspices of the Dangau Datuk Bengkulu Village Civilization Academy Foundation. One of the objectives of this school is “Students have skills through production, maintenance and distribution activities as well as life skills”. To achieve these goals, the curriculum is designed in such a way. Subjects that support the achievement of these goals include the basics of agricultural product processing, vegetable product processing production, animal product processing production and plantation and herbal processing production. Some processed products have been produced by this vocational school such as ice cream, ground coffee and others.  In marketing processed products, the use of plastic packaging is inevitable. The use of plastic as food packaging, both for food and beverages, cannot be avoided. In recent years, the use of stryfoam for food packaging is very widespread. So it is important to carry out education related to the use of plastic packaging in food products.

The method of community service is carried out in several stages, namely coordination and socialization, counseling, and finally demonstration. Coordination with partners is carried out intensively both directly and indirectly. From the results of the coordination of the implementation team with the target audience, in this case SMK Agribusiness Dangau Datuk, information was obtained about the schedule of activities and activity participants.  The activity was attended by students and teachers of SMK Agribusiness Dangau Datuk.

Counseling activities were carried out in the hall of SMK Agribusiness Dangau Datuk. The participants of the activity were students and teachers of SMK Agribusiness Dangau Datuk. Before the counseling was carried out, participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire that had been provided. There are ten statements that participants must respond to by checking the column they choose.  Participants who filled out the pre-counseling questionnaire amounted to 20 people, consisting of 16 women (80%) and 4 men (20%). This pre-counseling questionnaire aims to obtain participants’ initial information about the use of plastic as food packaging and its impact. The participants’ highest responses to each statement varied widely. Out of 10 statements, there were 8 statements where 10-40% of participants gave a “don’t know” response.  For statement no 3 there was 1 participant (5%) who did not give a response (did not fill in). The general participant (85%) already knows that the types of plastic are very diverse and can be recognized by their code. Only 5% of participants did not know that the content in plastic is harmful to health. As well as the impact of plastic use on the environment, all agree (55%) and agree (45%) that plastic waste is harmful to the environment. But how to use and choose the type of plastic that is safe for food products is still not understood.

The material presented during the counseling included about: (1) The function of packaging for food products, (2). Types of packaging, (3) Plastic as packaging for food products: types and raw materials, (4). The impact of using plastic packaging on health and the environment, (5) Tips on safely using plastic packaging. Counseling activities went smoothly. The participants were quite enthusiastic and enthusiastic about listening to the presentation delivered.

After the counseling activity, demonstrations were carried out to participants introduced to the types of packaging and their use. The participants were asked to observe directly the various types of packaging that had been prepared. With this activity, participants can better understand the material that has been delivered during counseling.

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