Hoi An to outlaw single-use plastic

By Hoang Phong   November 13, 2019 | 11:29 pm PT
Hoi An to outlaw single-use plastic
Hoi An ancient town is a popular tourist destination in central Vietnam, attracting millions of foreign tourists every year. Photo by Shutterstock/Hong Anh.
Ancient town Hoi An is restricting the use of single-use plastic items and plastic bags as it looks to boost sustainable tourism development.

Joining the national 2019-2021 anti-plastic waste campaign, authorities in Hoi An, a popular tourist destination in central Vietnam, have issued a directive on reducing and controlling the use of plastic products in order to protect the environment.

All government offices and agencies in the town have been ordered to stop using single-use plastic products at their meetings and events by the year-end.

By the end of 2021, plastic bags and other single-use plastic items will not be used at traditional markets and supermarkets in Hoi An. 

The old town must ensure a complete end to single-use plastic items by 2025, according to the directive.

Many hotels, restaurants, businesses and shops in Hoi An have actually stopped using plastic bags or single-use plastic products.

Nguyen Van Son, vice chairman of Hoi An, said the town attracts millions of visitors every year for shopping. "With more than 100 tons of waste discharged per day from people's daily lives and tourism activities, Hoi An is facing a mounting waste treatment problem."

Every day, around 100 tonnes of domestic rubbish are discharged in Hoi An, 20 percent of which is plastic waste. The town has set a goal of reducing the use of plastic products by an average 13-15 percent per year. 

Cu Lao Cham, or the Cham Islands, a protected area treasured for its biosphere in Quang Nam Province, is a pioneer in the country in eliminating the use of single-use plastic products. In 2009 the cluster of eight small islands abandoned plastic bags and started a campaign to clean up the environment.

Last August, HCMC, Vietnam's largest city, started limiting the use of bottled water, plastic bags and straws in the workplace while Hanoi followed suit a month later.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said last June that 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.

Vietnam has been ranked the fourth biggest polluter of oceans in the world by U.S.-based non-profit environmental organization Ocean Conservancy.

Hoi An has topped this year’s tourism hotspot listing by New York-based magazine Travel + Leisure. British newspaper The Telegraph last year named Hoi An among world’s cheapest global destinations, citing the Post Office’s annual Long Haul Holiday Report. Global readers of the American news network CNN listed the ancient town as one of the 16 best places in the world to relax in and get rid of stress.

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