Plastic waste photo contest launched online hinh anh 1Artworks made from plastic waste in Hanoi's Phuc Tan Commune. (Photo: VNS)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnamese and foreign photographers will be able to enter their photos on environmental protection in a contest launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Tap chi Nghe Nghiep va Cuoc Song (Career & Life) magazine.

The photo contest, entitled Cau Chuyen Rac Nhua (Story of Plastic Waste), aims to increase community awareness about environmental protection.

“Currently, Vietnam is one of the top five countries in the world discharging the most plastic waste into the ocean,” said Chu Thi Ha, Editor-in-chief of the Career & Life magazine.

“We hope that this photo contest will contribute to raising awareness of the management of plastic waste and somewhat limiting the amount of plastic waste discharged to the environment.”

The submitted photos must be taken from January 1 to April 30 in the coastal provinces of Vietnam. Entrants are not allowed to use Photoshop to change the content and nature of their pictures.

The contest organisation board encourages photos from the southern provinces of Binh Duong and Binh Thuan, the central province of Binh Dinh and central Da Nang city and the northern province of Quang Ninh.

The photos should focus on the spread of waste, which is not properly disposed of in Vietnam; plastic waste in the ocean; the impact of plastic waste on the environment and ecosystem and to people, and waste treatment.

Contestants can register at until May 5.

The organisation board is calling on both Vietnamese and foreigners living in Vietnam above 18 years old who are concerned about plastic waste to participate in the contest. Each of them can send 20 photos.

Top prizes will be announced in the magazine and Facebook Ocean or Plastic at the end of June. The top prizes will be awarded cash worth 1 million VND to 5 million VND (43 to 220 USD).

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 estimated that about 80 tonnes of plastic waste and bags are thrown away every day in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City combined.

On the positive side, Vietnam has taken efforts to manage imported plastic scrap and monitor plastic production and consumption./.