Single-use plastic bags have been alarmingly popular for years in Vietnam, especially in big municipalities such as Ho Chi Minh city. Rampant use of plastic bags not only wastes money but also seriously harms the environment.

Shopping without your own basket has become common for people in Vietnam.

Vegetables, fish, meat, even dried or cooked food will be put in plastic bags. Each person can use up to tens of plastic bags per day.

Giving extra plastic bags to customers is also common.

Ho Chi Minh City produces 8,000 tonnes of garbage daily, of which plastic bags account for 10 percent.

Experts say the threat of plastic bags to the environment is enormous. They can take up to 100 years or more to decompose. During the treatment and recycling process, plastic bags release fumes and hazardous waste which harms the environment and human health.

The law on protection of the environment came into effect in 2012, but due to their low-cost, the use of plastic bags is still common.

Experts say measures to increase people’s awareness of the harm of plastic bags to the environment should be implemented; otherwise plastic bags will become a top environmental problem of the city as well as Vietnam.-VNA