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Hanoi says no to plastic bags, disposable plastic products

Enterprises in Hanoi have implemented many concrete and practical action programmes to prevent the use of plastic bags and disposable plastic products.

 

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Many supermarkets and convenience stores have moved to use self-destruct roll bags and biodegradable plastic bags to replace disposable plastic bags

 

According to data from the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, about 6,000 tonnes of waste are discharged in the city every day, of which 8-10 percent are plastic waste, which are mainly generated in industrial production and consumer distribution.

They are mainly plastic bags and disposable plastic products, which are difficult or take a long time to be decomposed. However, they are still popularly used because of convenience in production and consumption.

Hanoi is now home to 24 trade centres, 140 supermarkets, 454 markets and thousands of convenience stores which still keep the habit of using plastic bags.

Over the past time, production and distribution businesses have made efforts to minimize plastic waste.

A representative of the Hanoi 27–7 Packaging Company Limited said the firm has boldly invested in application of new technologies in production.

The company has so far converted 50 percent of finished products into environmentally friendly packaging, including multiple-use plastic bags and paper bags for both export and growing demand in the domestic market.

The company has committed that 100 percent of its products will be environmentally friendly by 2020.

Many shopping centres, supermarkets, convenience stores such as Vinmart, Big C, MM Mega Market, Lotte, and Saigon Co.op Mart have moved to use self-destruct roll bags and biodegradable plastic bags to replace disposable plastic bags.

They have also used trays, boxes, plates, bowls and some items made from corn flour, bagasse, and coconut fiber for processing food to replace products made of plastic.

Some shops have used natural materials such as banana leaves, dong leaves, bamboo sticks, and paper bags to wrap their products.

Currently, supermarkets in Hanoi are "racing" to use and distribute environmentally friendly packaging products.

CEO of LOTTE Mart Vietnam Kang Minho said that the LOTTE Mart chain is selling paper straws, eco-green bags, boxes made from bagasse, and chicken eggs packed with paper packaging instead of plastic boxes.

In the coming time, LOTTE Mart will sell straws made of rice powder and all cooked food sold at LOTTE Mart supermarkets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will also be packed in boxes made from bagasse, which will decompose itself when they are buried under ground within 45 days.

The latest statistics of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment show that Hanoi and HCM City discharged 80 tonnes of plastic and nylon each day.

If every family in the two cities replaces plastic bags with environmentally friendly products, the amount of plastic released into the environment would be significantly reduced.

The use of banana leaves and biodegradable bags to cover foods in supermarkets is one of many solutions to protect the environment, the ministry said.

Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, Director of of Co.op Mart Ha Dong in Hanoi, said the supermarket aims to replace all plastic bags with leaves such as banana leaves, lotus leaves and paper bags or bags made from corn powder.

According to deputy director of Co.op Food Pham Thi Ngoc Lan, when enterprises use environmentally friendly products to replace plastic bags, they have to pay more expenses and efforts.

The reduction of plastic waste is not a temporary movement but is an indispensable development trend, and received increasing support from the community, she said.

Along with alternative solutions, it is necessary to raise public awareness of the importance of reducing use of plastic products and change their habit of using plastic products.

The use of banana leaves to pack vegetables and fruits in supermarkets in Vietnam is one of the solutions to minimize and stop using plastic bags, contributing to gradually changing a habit harmful to the environment.-VNA

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