Vietnamese join #trashtag challenge with enthusiasm

By Trong Nghia   March 15, 2019 | 02:00 am PT
Vietnamese have taken up the viral #trashtag challenge by posting ‘before and after’ photos of cleaned up public spaces on social media.

Huong Ly, winner of the Vietnam Next Top Model contest, said: "I've never done any social media challenge, but I have to do this. Seeing people sharing meaningful environmental cleanup photos, I invited my brother to go under the Phu My Bridge (in HCMC) near our house to clean up."

Over two days Ly and her brother spent five hours to clean the place. Her Facebook post now has nearly 3,000 likes.

"I think I can help make the environment more beautiful, spread positive energy, and hope more people will join this challenge," she said.

Nguyen Chi Linh, 18, a hotel employee on Phu Quoc Island, was among others who decided to take up the challenge.

After a few hours, Linh collected nearly 100 kilograms of garbbage. Photo acquired by VnExpress

After a few hours, Linh collected nearly 100 kilograms of garbbage. Photo acquired by VnExpress

On March 12 he took photos and uploaded a video of him with eight bags of trash weighing nearly 100 kilograms in Duong To Commune, a residential area on Phu Quoc.

"I noticed a pile of trash ever since I started working here a few months ago. It seems like no one has the time to clean it up. So during my day off, I decided to clean it up."

It did not take much time or effort, and in fact helped him unwind after work, he said.

On the same day, Duong, 27, of Da Nang, posted on Facebook that he drove up to Hai Van Pass at 5 a.m to clean it.

"Da Nang is my home, so I have to do something to keep this place clean," he said.

Giang Thi Kim Yen of Ho Chi Minh City is an active member of a voluntary environmental cleanup group that spent six months collecting trash in many places around the country.

On March 11 she uploaded photos of Vinh Luong Beach in the coastal city of Nha Trang before and after it got cleaned up on February 20.

More than 300 volunteers help clean up Vinh Luong Beach. Photo acquired by VnExpress

More than 300 volunteers helped clean up Vinh Luong Beach in Nha Trang. Photo acquired by VnExpress

"For a long time I have had a hobby of taking photos before and after cleaning up garbage. I didn't think it will become such a global trend," she said.

Yen and members of Scuba, a non-profit group that aims to protect oceans and marine life, gathered a group of volunteers for their beach cleanup work that lasted from February 14 to 20.

The hashtag #trashtag has been around for years, but Byron Román popularized through a Facebook post of him cleaning up a badly littered public space.

"Here is a new #challenge for all you bored teens. Take a photo of an area that needs some cleaning or maintenance, then take a photo after you have done something about it, and post it," he wrote on March 5.

Many young Vietnamese have hailed it saying it will help prevent a lot of garbage from entering the environment. Many express the hope people will reduce the use of plastic when they see less litter around. 

Vietnam discharges around 18,000 tons of plastic waste every day, according to the Da Nang Center for Consultancy on Sustainable Development.

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