Tourists discard hundreds of tons of plastic waste each year in Vietnam: report

By Phuong Anh   February 20, 2023 | 07:31 pm PT
Tourists discard hundreds of tons of plastic waste each year in Vietnam: report
Garbage flood a beach in Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam in September 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
The amount of plastic waste generated by tourists in Vietnam was 116,000 tons in 2019 before the onset of Covid and the figure is estimated to triple by 2030, a new report shows.

Before the Covid outbreak, 85 million domestic tourists discarded nearly 61,000 tons of plastic waste every year, while 18 million international tourists threw away 55,000 tons, according to a report from the Institute for Tourism Development Research.

"Without immediate measures, the amount of plastic waste from tourism activities will triple in by 2030," said Nguyen Anh Tuan, director of the institute. "This will be a huge pressure on the environment."

Ha Van Sieu, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said at a tourism conference last week that Vietnam's tourism industry has been thriving in recent years, resulting in mounting pressure to dealing with the issue of plastic waste.

The tourism industry is working on a project to reduce plastic waste in popular tourist destinations.

A number of restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions in Ninh Binh and Quang Nam provinces, home to UNESCO heritage sites Trang An Landscape Complex and Hoi An Ancient Town, will pilot a ban on plastic products.

In 2021, Vietnam finished in the bottom five of a global sustainable tourism ranking compiled by British market research firm Euromonitor International, placing 96th out of 99 economies.

The government earlier committed to cutting down 75% of its plastics and stopping generating plastic waste in coastal tourist areas by 2030.

Vietnam received 3.6 million foreign tourists last year, around 20% of pre-pandemic levels.

This year it is targeting 8 million arrivals.

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