The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) has decided that Vietnam has to control ocean plastic waste at source, on the mainland and on the sea.
Under a national action plan on ocean plastic waste management by 2030, 50 percent of ocean plastic waste will be reducedby 2025, 50 percent of lost or discarded fishing equipment will be collected, 80 percent coastal tourism and service areas will not use disposable plastic waste and nonbiodegradable plastic bags, and 80 percent of MPAs (marine protected areas) will have no more plastic waste.
By 2030, 100 percent of coastal tourism and service areas will not use disposable plastic waste and nonbiodegradable plastic bags, 100 percent of MPAs (marine protected areas) will have no more plastic waste, and 75 percent of ocean plastic waste will be reduced.
However, the action plan does not include any figures about the plastic waste situation in Vietnam.
|By 2030, 100 percent of coastal tourism and service areas will not use disposable plastic waste and nonbiodegradable plastic bags, 100 percent of MPAs (marine protected areas) will have no more plastic waste, and 75 percent of ocean plastic waste will be reduced.|
Luu Duc Hai, deputy chair of the Vietnam Urban Planning Association, stressed that in order to build a national plan and implement the plan, there must be thorough study about ocean waste classification, waste sources and the flow of ocean waste.
If these figures cannot be found, setting goals and tasks to reduce ocean waste will have no significance, he said.
Sharing the same view, Dao Manh Tien, Chair of the Marine Geological Association, commented that statistics are needed to develop an action plan.
Experts from the network initiated by NGOs in Vietnam – CECR, Greeb-Hub, MCD, WWF, GRET and IUCN – in 2018, said there was still no assessment about the current situation of plastic waste pollution in Vietnam.
Figures about ocean plastic waste in Vietnam have not been made public by MONRE. Some organizations, including IUCN and Green-Hub, have recently carried out research about ocean plastic waste pollution.
Regarding solutions to mitigate waste, he said Vietnam should focus on economic measures to stop disposal of garbage. The environmental protection tax is an effective tool to reach that goal.
“Plastic bags are used everywhere because they are dirt cheap, just VND50,000 per kilogram. It is so cheap that it is given to buyers for free. If the price is raised to VND100,000 per kilogram, the situation will be different,” Hai said.
Meanwhile, chair of the Vietnam Chemistry Association Le Quoc Khanh believes that the most important factor of the action plan lies in the organization.
“While agencies are discussing how to mitigate waste, plastic bags are still free in traditional markets,” he said.
Vietnam is among the countries discharging the most plastic waste worldwide, while its recycling rate is low and its policies have failed to cope with the increase in plastic waste, according to a released report by Ipsos Business Consulting.
A co-ordinated and sustained global effort “is needed to reinforce the circular economy through action-based projects”, an international forum heard in Bangkok.