The Vietnamese government is encouraging officials and employees in state agencies to jointly act against plastic waste and abstain from using disposable plastic products.
For a Hanoi without plastic waste
In response to the movement to combat plastic waste, Hanoi’s authority has set a target that stores, markets, supermarkets will not use plastic bags and disposable plastic products in the inner city by 2020 and the whole city by 2025.
Many supermarkets in Hanoi use banana leaves to pack vegetables instead of plastic bags. Photo: HM
Director of the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Trong Dong told the local media that every day, the city generates 5,500 to 6,000 tons of household waste, of which plastic garbage accounts for 8-10%.
Plastic products and bags that are durable and difficult to decompose are a big challenge to environmental protection, Dong said, adding that with a view to making Hanoi a sustainable, green and modern city, the municipal People's Committee has requested departments and agencies to translate the target into practical actions and build a roadmap to achieve it in the coming years.
The municipal Department of Industry and Trade is asked to coordinate with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the People's Committees of districts and towns to urge five-star hotels, trade centers, wet markets and local residents to actively participate in the campaign, Dong stressed.
MoNRE: Plastic bottles no longer placed on meeting tables
At the meetings and workshops held at Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment (MoNRE), there are always sleek water pitchers on the table to serve attendees. The whole ministry uses metal or glass bottles to replace plastic bottles.
Sleek water pitchers are used at a meeting in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Photo: Nguyen Ngan
The ministry's leaders said that this is one of the first actions in the "Anti-plastic waste" in the country.
In Hanoi, the city’s government has also asked its subordinate units to discard plastic products, specifically not to use plastic bottles at meetings and conferences.
Health Ministry requires reducing plastic waste in healthcare sector
On July 31, the Ministry of Health requested medical facilities to encourage the use of environmentally-friendly materials.
According to Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, in the medical field, plastic waste arises from many sources, including daily activities of health workers and patients.
Hue Central General Hospital replaces disposable plastic water bottles with glass bottles during meetings. Photo: Thu Lan
Professional medical activities such as tools for packaging and storing medicines, chemicals, equipment, materials and medical supplies, research, production and trading of medicines, among others, all result in the discharge of plastic waste. These can be replaced by safer and more environmentally-friendly materials, Tien said.
She added that the Ministry of Health also requires units in the health sector to reduce the use of bags, bottles, cups, bowls, plates, straws and other objects made from disposable plastic in daily activities and at the meetings, conferences, seminars, and training courses, among others.
The health sector of Vietnam is about to completely stop using disposable plastic materials and hard-to-decompose plastic products, Tien emphasized.
Vietnam News Agency says no to plastic waste
On July 29, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) Dinh Dang Quang signed a plan on "Minimizing and phasing out plastic ware from the VNA".
The VNA will strive to stop using disposable plastic products in regular activities, meetings, conferences by the end of the third quarter this year, Quang said.
This is the VNA’s practical activity to respond to the Vietnamese government and the United Nations' action on "Reducing plastic and plastic pollution" and the document dated October 10, 2018 by Vietnam’s MonRE on the launch of the "Anti-plastic waste" movement.
Many specific solutions in managing and treating plastic waste will be taken by VNA, including using biodegradable garbage bags in environmental sanitation at the VNA’s offices nationwide; using all kinds of durable bags, lanes and trays in transporting daily food in the VNA’s kitchens at No.5 and 79 Ly Thuong Kiet street (Hanoi); canteens should replace nylon bags and plastic products with environmentally-friendly ones.