The Vietnamese Government is making steps to control plastic waste and call on its people to protect the environment, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said. (Illustrative photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has praised domestic and multinational companies in the food and beverages industry for their initiative of setting up PRO Vietnam, an organisation for recycling packaging materials.

In his letter, the PM cited the United Nations’ campaign in 2018 to call on people to change the habit of using single-use plastic and reduce environmental pollution, with many countries taking specific actions to restrict the use of plastic products and enhance plastic recycling and reuse.

The Vietnamese Government is also making steps to control plastic waste and call on its people to protect the environment, he noted.

The PM voiced his hope that the newly-established organisation will work together with the Government and people to minimise plastic pollution and cut down the use of single-use plastic.

He also asked PRO Vietnam to use advanced technologies in the collection, reuse and recycling of packaging materials in Vietnam.

PM Phuc asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the Ministry of Industry and Trade, relevant branches and local authorities to create optimal conditions for the operation of PRO Vietnam, contributing to environmental improvement and implementation of sustainable development goals.

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.

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