The National Strategy on Environment Protection aims to cut plastic bag use in traditional markets in half by 2020. However, the goal is difficult due to numerous factors.

Food, vegetables and fruit are all carried in plastic bags. The number of plastic bags is so big that some women even cannot remember how many plastic bags they have used in one day.

When people are not ready to give up plastic bags, taxes are thought to be the most effective tool in the fight against plastic bags. An environmental tax of 50,000 VND (2.15 USD) per kilogram of plastic bags has been applied since January 1 this year. However, according to experts, there remain obstacles in implementing the tax policy.

The difficulty in managing plastic bags workshops has resulted in a paradox, where the actual price for one kilogram of plastics bag is lower than the tax itself.

While the tax was expected to bring in $900 million per year, the actual numbers have been much lower.

The huge gap between expected and actual plastic tax revenue is mostly due to tax evasion and regulatory loopholes, which also allow bag sellers to maintain their low prices.

To combat this trend, the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry has proposed revising the tax to account for the number of bags instead of their weight.-VNA