Second university in Saigon says no to single-use plastic

By Sen    June 28, 2019 | 08:28 pm PT
Second university in Saigon says no to single-use plastic
Single-use plastic cups and straws at a trash bin on a Ho Chi Minh City street. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC Medicine and Pharmacy University says it will stop using single-use water bottles and plastic straw starting this August.

University principal Tran Diep Tuan has asked staff to use ceramic and glass cups and big volume water containers at meetings, conferences and other events. He has also asked students to bring their own water bottles.

This is the second university in Ho Chi Minh City to halt the use of plastic bottles and plastic straws as an environmentally friendly measure, following the HCMC Open University in April.

HCMC generates 1,800 tons of plastic waste every day, official data shows.

The plastic-boycott movement in Vietnam has gained some momentum in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam should strive for zero disposable plastic use in urban stores, markets and supermarkets by 2021 and for no plastic products to be used in the entire country by 2025.

Last month, Thua Thien-Hue Province in central Vietnam asked its public workers not to use plastic water bottles or plastic bags in the workplace.

Supermarket chain Saigon Co.op stopped selling plastic straws last month. Some supermarket chains have begun to use banana leaves to pack vegetables instead of plastic.

Last week, nine corporate biggies joined hands to recycle packaging materials, aiming at 100 percent recycling by 2030. Four major carriers in Vietnam have also announced they are planning to phase out single-use plastics from their flights.

The recent moves by different actors come in the wake of reports that Vietnamese produce a staggering amount of plastic waste produced: around 2,500 tons of a day. Vietnam has been ranked the fourth biggest polluter of oceans in the world by U.S. based non-profit environmental organization Ocean Conservancy.

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