Take-away food packaging makes up 44% of plastic waste in Vietnam: WB survey hinh anh 1Take-away food packaging (Photo: Vnexpress)
Hanoi (VNA) - Garbage from take-away food and drinks accounts for 44% of plastic waste found at surveyed sites in Vietnam, according to the World Bank (WB).

Vnexpress e-newspaper cited a WB report released this week showing that plastic waste at both surveyed river and coastal sites across Vietnam came mostly from take-away-related sources.

Take-away related waste accounted for 43.6% percent in number and 35.1% in weight of the total plastic waste, followed by fisheries-related waste (32.6% in number and 30.6% in weight), and household-related waste (21.6% in number and 22.8% in weight).

Agriculture- and medical-related plastics comprised only about 1% in number and 3 to 8% in weight, said the report, conducted from July 2020 to April 2021 in response to a request from Vietnam's government to deepen knowledge about the different plastic waste types leaking into the country's rivers and ocean, and identify their market alternatives for potential substitution.

The waste amount was surveyed in 24 river sites and 14 coastal sites, in 10 different cities and provinces: Lao Cai and Hai Phong in the north, Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa in the central region, and Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Kien Giang and Soc Trang in the south.

The report suggested that addressing plastic pollution caused by single-use items should not be based on replacing those items with non-plastic single-use items, or plastic multi-use items, because "both may have negative impacts, and not align with Vietnam's goal of a more circular economy."

Thus, in promoting alternative products, the focus should be on promoting reusable, non-plastic items that support the overall reduction in the generation of plastic waste.

"Much greater effort is required to educate Vietnam's population about waste reduction, reuse, and halting littering, in order to reduce the demand for low-utility plastic, support more cost-effective waste management infrastructure, and reduce littering that ends up in rivers and the ocean," it said.

According to data released last year by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, plastic waste accounts for 7% of the solid waste discharged every day in Vietnam, or nearly 2,500 tonnes.

Some 0.28-0.73 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the country's seas every year./.