Vietnam launches national action plan to curb plastic pollution

06:00 | 22/01/2021 Environment

(VEN) - Vietnam’s leading environmental policy-makers, business leaders, local and international organizations have endorsed an action platform aimed at slashing plastic waste on land and its discharge into the ocean, and develop a roadmap to eliminate single-use plastic and non-biodegradable plastic bags, especially in cities, coastal tourist destinations and marine protected areas.

vietnam launches national action plan to curb plastic pollution
Vietnam strengthens national action to control plastic pollution

Result of urbanization, industrialization

The plastic industry was one of the fastest growing industries in Vietnam over the past decade. The consumption index of plastic per capita increased rapidly, from 3.8 kilos annually in 1990 to 41 kilos in 2015 and now about 54 kilos per year. Currently, there are about 2,000 plastic enterprises nationwide, of those 450 are plastic packaging and plastic bags manufacturers.

At the December 23 launch of the Vietnam National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP), a collaboration between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Global Plastic Action Partnership under the World Economic Forum, Minister Tran Hong Ha said plastic pollution had become one of the most urgent environmental problems in the world. Vietnam’s industrialization and urbanization, with major economic, commercial, tourist and industrial centers developing at a high speed, have contributed to the problem.

The NPAP strives to turn Vietnam into a typical model for production and consumption of sustainable plastics, creating a foundation for management of plastic waste in the most effective way and minimizing its impact on the environment.

vietnam launches national action plan to curb plastic pollution

Joint efforts of the community needed

Vietnam has been a pioneer in implementing programs to tackle plastic waste pollution problem, mobilizing broad public support. In 2020, Vietnam’s National Assembly passed the Environmental Protection Law, which supplements regulations on minimizing, reusing, recycling and treating plastic waste and creates an important legal basis for Vietnam to strengthen management and reduction of plastic waste and promote international cooperation in this field.

However, Vietnam needs to mobilize the public more effectively to attain its goals, driving changes in behavior through recycling and reusing plastic products to prolong their life cycle.

First of all, Vietnam needs a national legal and institutional framework regarding the responsibility of plastic manufacturers, including standards and regulations on plastics and microplastics towards sustainable plastic manufacturing and promoting research, application and technology transfer for plastic recycling and production.

It must also raise public awareness of smart and sustainable plastic consumption, domestic solid waste classification at source and limited use of disposable plastic products and non-biodegradable nylon bags.

Vietnam also needs to seek international cooperation on scientific research, technology development and knowledge transfer on management and sustainable use of plastic products, share information and experiences on plastic waste reduction and formulate effective regional and global cooperation mechanisms to keep oceans free of plastic waste, and a green earth without plastic pollution.

Vietnam generates about 22 million tonnes of domestic solid waste annually. About 10 percent of it is plastic

waste, with the amount constantly increasing and creating environmental hazards. International experts

forecast a doubling of plastic waste leakage into Vietnam’s water environment this decade.

Trang Anh