Artwork campaign aims to raise awareness of marine plastic pollution hinh anh 1Volunteers collect waste and polystyrenes on an island in Ha Long Bay (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) – An artwork creation campaign on plastic waste and polystyrenes is taking place in Minh Chau commune of Van Don district, northeastern Quang Ninh province, with a view to helping raise public awareness of marine pollution.

Themed “I love the ocean/Born to be wild”, the campaign is organised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Bai Tu Long National Park, and the Centre for Supporting Green Development (GreenHub) from May 29 to June 9.

Completed artworks will be displayed on local beaches or the community centre of Bai Tu Long National Park.

Phan Thanh Nghi, Deputy Director of the Bai Tu Long National Park, said the campaign aims to raise local community’s awareness of the serious plastic pollution in the sea through arts, thereby helping to change their behaviours in using plastics and polystyrenes, which is popular at local aquaculture farms.

Le Thi Doan Vi and Le Thi Thuc Vi, two volunteers from Ho Chi Minh City, created a chair from plastic waste. They said all of the materials were found on Minh Chau beach, and they wanted to make use of polystyrenes from old lifebuoys and tyres. They hoped that other people would recycle waste instead of discarding them in the ocean.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Trang, a postgraduate student at the University of Industrial Fine Art in Hanoi, said she created three artworks from plastic waste. Notably, a sea turtle was made from polystyrenes collected on Minh Chau beach so as to call on people to protect this threatened species.

The artwork campaign is part of the 2018 community-based marine turtle conservation programme, implemented by the IUCN with support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, in response to the Vietnam Sea and Island Week (June 1 – 8), the World Environment Day (June 5), and the World Oceans Day (June 8).

According to the IUCN and partners, in the three clean-up campaigns in the vicinity of Ha Long Bay from 2016 to 2017, polystyrenes on islands in Bai Tu Long accounted for 60 – 80 percent of total collected waste. Polystyrenes is dangerous for the environment when they are broken into small and uncollectible pieces, marine species may eat these pieces and die.

Statistics show that one million plastic bottles are bought and 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide every minute. Meanwhile, up to 8 million tonnes of plastic waste is discharged into oceans around the globe each year, harming coral reef ecosystems and marine species.-VNA