Hanoi to cease straw burning starting 2021

By Phan Anh   September 22, 2020 | 03:57 am PT
Hanoi to cease straw burning starting 2021
A farmer in Hanoi's Phuc Tho District burns straw after harvesting rice, October 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Hanoi would stop burning straw and other waste starting next year to prevent environmental pollution, according to a directive issued by the city People’s Committee.

The directive, which serves to enhance governmental management regarding the burning of straw, plant byproducts and other waste to minimize environmental pollution, calls for local authorities to monitor and punish the burning of solid waste, as well as collect and process waste as per existing law.

By the end of September, citizens need to be informed of the city’s intention on collecting, transporting and processing straw, plant byproducts, and other waste. Authorities also need to pinpoint the causes of waste burning for better management.

By year’s end, authorities need to deploy supportive measures for citizens to not burn straw and plant byproducts and switch to more environmentally friendly waste processing methods.

Starting next year, all straw and plant byproducts in the city would be collected and either recycled or processed while abiding by environmental standards. The burning of straw, plant byproducts and other solid waste would also no longer take place.

Farmers on the outskirts of Hanoi have for a long time burned straw following rice harvests in late September or early October, either to get rid of the residue or reduce it to fertilizer ash. According to Hanoi's Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, some 300,000 tons of straw is burned annually.

A 2012 survey by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s department of crop production of 180,000 Red River Delta households across three provinces found 58 percent burnt straw in the field.

Aviation authorities have also warned that smoke caused by burning straw near Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport could affect pilots' visibility and threaten flight safety.

Pilots’ vision affected as farmers burn straw near Hanoi airport, October 2019. Video by Loc Chung.

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