Vietnam aims to free tourist areas of plastic waste

By Gia Chinh   December 6, 2019 | 08:37 pm PT
Vietnam aims to free tourist areas of plastic waste
Waste in Ly Son Island, central Quang Ngai Province. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
Vietnam will cut down 75 percent of its marine plastics and stop generating plastic waste in coastal tourist areas by 2030, the government says.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued a national action plan on the management of plastic waste in the ocean until 2030, which aims to fulfill the country's international commitment to resolve the issue of marine plastics.

According to the plan, by 2030, Vietnam would have reduced the amount of plastic waste being dumped into the ocean and collected 100 percent of lost or discarded fishing equipment. Additionally, 100 percent of coastal tourism service providers would stop using disposable plastic products and non-degradable plastic bags, and 100 percent of marine protected areas would be free of plastic waste.

The government has asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to expand its annual monitoring activities and evaluate the current status of marine plastics at river mouths and in 12 island districts every five years.

To achieve its goals, the government will work to promote and raise public awareness on the issue of plastic waste; change the public's behavior and treatment of plastic products and marine plastics; collect, sort, store, transport and treat plastic waste generated by activities in coastal areas and on the seas.

The PM asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to work with authorities of coastal provinces and municipalities to develop and pilot models for managing, reducing and eventually stopping the use of disposable plastic products and hard-to-degrade plastic bags in coastal areas.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, Vietnam is the world's fourth largest marine plastic polluter after China, Indonesia and the Philippines. It has been estimated that Vietnam dumps an average of 300,000-700,000 tons of plastic waste into the ocean per year, accounting for six percent of the world's marine plastics.

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