Plastic products must be used in sustainable way: Deputy PM hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung. Illustrative photo. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - “It is time for us to take drastic and effective action to change models of production and the consumption of traditional plastic products in a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner,” Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has said.

In remarks at the launch of the Vietnam National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) and the Mitigating Marine Plastic Debris in Vietnam Programme on December 23, he described plastic as an important invention that has a major role in production and daily life.

Plastics, however, especially single-use products, have seriously polluted the environment and ecosystem, he said, highlighting that ASEAN is on red alert over plastic waste discharged into the environment without treatment.

In recent years, the Vietnamese Government has proactively made proposals on international cooperation mechanisms to reduce plastic waste at various forums, such as the expanded G7 summit in Canada, the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in 2018, and World Economic Forum in Davos in 2019.

The country has carried out drastic programmes to handle plastic pollution, which have received an enthusiastic response from all people.

Most recently, the National Assembly adopted the law on environmental protection, providing an important legal framework for the country to enhance the management, reuse, recycling, and reduction of plastic waste in the time to come, and to also boost international cooperation in the field, he said.

He lauded the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the World Economic Forum for their coordination in carrying out the Vietnam National Plastic Action Partnership. He expressed a belief that the programme will connect management agencies, businesses, and the community to promote the effective management and treatment of plastic waste, contributing to realising ASEAN’s commitment to protecting the environment.

The Deputy PM ordered relevant agencies to effectively implement the programme, with focus sharpened on the establishment of a legal framework regulating the responsibility of plastics producers, the development of a standard system on plastics and microplastics, and the application of science and technology into plastics production and recycling.

Communications work should be paid due regard, he said, to raise public awareness about smart and sustainable plastic consumption.

In the time to come, Vietnam will step up international cooperation in scientific research, technological development, and knowledge transfer on the sustainable use and management of plastic products, he said, adding that a regional research centre will be established to share information in the field, and a regional cooperation mechanism formed to settle plastic waste pollution.

“The Vietnamese Government pledges to create favourable conditions for the partnership, to make it become a standout model for sustainable plastic use and management,” he stated. “Vietnam will strongly participate in regional and global efforts to reduce plastic waste.”

Launching the programme, Vietnam is among the first three countries in the world, together with Indonesia and Ghana, to apply a special model promoting action to reduce plastic waste.

Director of the Global Plastic Action Partnership, Kristin Hughes, a member of the World Economic Forum, said the cooperation aims to conduct circular models that are more sustainable and bring benefits to Vietnam’s abundant ocean ecosystem./.