By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – A group of young Jordanians are collecting pledges from people across the Kingdom to carry garbage bags in their cars in order to end the “phenomenon of littering”.

The students, from different universities in the country, started the “For a cleaner Jordan” campaign with the aim of getting a million people to sign the pledge.

So far, around 400 people from different walks of life have signed the pledge, which says: “I pledge to put a waste bag in my vehicle from now on, and help put an end to the phenomenon of dumping waste from windows of vehicles as much as I can.”

Sanad Abu Assaf, who initiated the campaign earlier this year, on Facebook, said it has now moved to universities across Jordan.

Around 10-12 youngsters are volunteering to collect the pledges from university students and employees, he said yesterday.

Abu Assaf added that the German-Jordanian University is supporting the initiative by circulating the pledge among its students and those at the Princess Sumaya University for Technology, as well as employees of the Royal Scientific Society.

“Everyone can see how hard the sanitation workers labour to keep the streets clean. But some people don’t care and throw tissues or even garbage bags out of their car windows,” he told The Jordan Times.

Abu Assaf is the founder of Spirit of Jordan, a voluntary project that targets young people and seeks to help the community and the environment by launching educational, environmental and cultural initiatives, including the “For a cleaner Jordan” campaign.

The idea of pledging to place a garbage bag in vehicles is one step towards gaining clean streets, he noted.

“The pledge commits signatories to act with responsibility towards the environment, and raises the awareness of those who didn’t sign on the need to stop littering,” Abu Assaf underscored.

The voluntary campaign will also spread to schools, he noted, highlighting that schoolchildren will urge their teachers and parents to sign the pledge as well.

“By doing this, we are not only gaining more supporters against littering, but also encouraging children at a young age to shun littering,” Abu Assaf pointed out.

The initiative is being welcomed by university students, who are showing interest in taking the pledge and promoting the campaign voluntarily.

Baha Qudah, a computer science student at the German-Jordanian University, said he took the pledge two weeks ago out of his desire to see clean streets in Jordan.

“I was in Europe last year, and I was impressed by the cleanliness of streets there. When I came back to Jordan, I felt sorry to see litter in the streets. Therefore, I signed the pledge and encouraged my friends and family to do the same,” Qudah told The Jordan Times yesterday.

Abu Assaf and Qudah both agree that altering self-behaviour is the first step towards achieving change in any society.

“The initiative is small and operates with minimal resources, but everything starts with a small step,” Abu Assaf said.