HCM City campaign calls for joint actions to reduce plastic waste hinh anh 1Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council Pham Duc Hai (first from left) gives farbic bags to local residents (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – A campaign named “Day to clean plastic waste 2019” was launched in Ho Chi Minh City on March 9 to raise public awareness and call for practical actions to protect the environment.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Council Pham Duc Hai stressed that protecting the environment is the responsibility of all people.

To address plastic waste-related issues, the engagement of all ministries, sectors, socio-political organisations, enterprises and individuals in the work is needed, Hai said.

Canadian Consul General in HCM City Kyle Nunas appreciated the city’s efforts to tackle plastic waste issues, especially its initiative to classify wastes and launch of the campaign.

After the launch ceremony, HCM City’s leaders and foreign Consuls General delivered fabric bags to shop owners and local residents at Ben Thanh market, while representatives from Consulates General, departments, sectors and organisations and local people collected plastic waste on several streets.

On this occasion, a roundtable was held to make people understand more about impacts of plastic waste pollution and measures to prevent plastic waste.

Vietnam is one of Asia’s five worst polluters of ocean plastic waste, according to international organisations. With 13 million tonnes of waste released to the ocean every year, the country ranks 17th in the world for ocean plastic waste pollution.

Although there are no official statistics on the amount and varieties of plastic in the Vietnamese sea and islands, plastic waste is easy to see in Vietnamese waters, with the country’s 112 estuaries the main gateways of plastic to the ocean.

Numbers from Vietnam’s Association of Plastic illustrate the scale of the problem. In 1990, each Vietnamese consumed 3.8kg of plastic per year, but 25 years later, the figure hit 41kg.

As many as 1,000 plastic bags are used each minute but only 27 percent of them are treated and recycled.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) estimated that about 80 tonnes of plastic waste and bags are thrown away every day in Hanoi and HCM City combined.-VNA