Say no to plastic straws for greener Vietnam hinh anh 1Footballer Do Hung Dung and first runner-up of Miss Vietnam 2018 Bui Phuong Nga are ambassadors of the “Say no to plastic straws” campaign. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A campaign, titled “Say no to plastic straws,” was launched at a press conference on July 16, with footballer Do Hung Dung and first runner-up of Miss Vietnam 2018 Bui Phuong Nga its ambassadors.

At the launching ceremony, Dung, Nga and representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and Nestle Vietnam called on the community and businesses to reduce plastic waste for a greener Vietnam.

The campaign comprises two phases, with the first one running from July to August 2021, calling for joint efforts of units, enterprises and service suppliers using a lot of plastic straws such as fast food chains, coffee shops and cinemas.

The second will last from August to December this year, with activities aiming to respond to the “Clean up the world” campaign - one of the largest community-based environmental programmes in the world established in 1993.

During the phase, the “Say no to plastic straws” will target even children and students.  

From small actions…

Dung said after each football match, stadiums were left covered in plastic bottles, cups and straws. Plastic waste is not only the by-product of football matches, but also discharged by families and cities, causing environmental pollution.

“I totally back the use of environmentally friendly products,” the campaign ambassador said, stressing joint efforts are needed to spread the “Say no to plastic straws” message. 

Nga, who had joined many environmental programmes earlier, said she was excited to be the ambassador of the campaign to phase out plastic straws.

She cited statistics by the MoNRE as saying that each year Vietnam discharges 1.8 million tonnes of plastic waste, of which between 0.28 to 0.73 million tonnes have been dumped into the ocean.

Hanoi and HCM City alone, the two biggest cities, release about 80 tonnes of plastic waste and nylon bags each day, she said.

Through the campaign, the ministry hopes that single-use plastic products will be replaced by environmentally friendly ones.

Say no to plastic straws for greener Vietnam hinh anh 2Bamboo straws (Photo: VNA)

To more drastic actions

Nguyen Viet Dung, Director of Centre for Natural Resources and Environment Communication at the MonRE, said over the past two years, Vietnam has organised various communication programmes, and issued a range of policies aiming to reduce the use of single-use plastic products, with the most noteworthy the nationwide campaign against plastic waste launched by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on June 9, 2019.

After two years of implementation, the drive has been spread among the community with the participation of many businesses, from retailers to those operating in aviation services and producers.

Its biggest outcome is the public’s improved awareness of plastic waste and environmental protection, especially among young people, according to the ministry.

To make the communication campaigns, especially the “Say no to plastic straws” drive, more effective, it requires more drastic and stronger actions, Dung said.

He called on businesses and people to take more concrete and practical actions to cut the use of plastic waste and nylon bags that are hard to discompose, and replace plastic straws by straws made of paper and other environmentally friendly materials.

Enterprises should play a more active role and contribute opinions to decrees guiding the implementation of the Law on Environmental Protection which will officially takes effect as from January 1, 2022, he suggested, adding that the law prescribes major solutions to manage and handle plastic waste.

A representative from Nestle Vietnam said since early March 2020, Nestle MILO has piloted paper straws for MILO products, and since May 2021, it has officially used paper straws for all instant products.

The change has not affected product quality as well as consumption habit, but it can cut more than 676 tonnes of plastic waste each year, the representative said./.