In Vietnam, if 10 percent of the plastic garbage is not recycled, the country could directly discharge 2.5 million tonnes of plastic litter into the environment. (Photo: VNA)

Hai Phong (VNA) – Tourism companies, who are benefiting enormously from the environmental values, should take further actions to stem the flow of plastic waste into the ocean, heard a workshop held in the northern port city of Hai Phong on July 25.

Reports at the event said among the 400 million tonnes of plastics produced, 8 million tonnes end up in the ocean each year. In Vietnam, if 10 percent of the plastic garbage is not recycled, the country could directly discharge 2.5 million tonnes of plastic litter into the environment, and experts said a huge amount of plastic has been dumped by the tourism sector.

Participants at the workshop, jointly held by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association (VUSTA), and the People’s Committee of Cat Hai district, shared their good practices in reducing single-use plastics, helping raise awareness of local firms of ocean plastic waste.

Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee in Cat Hai district Hoang Trung Cuong said the locality is building an action plan to reduce the volume of plastic garbage, striving to say no to single-use plastic products during 2019-2020 and cut at least 50 percent of plastic waste in the district by 2020.

Under the plan, the district targets all of the state agencies limit single-use plastics, and at least 70 percent of the tourism service providers pledge to use environmentally-friendly products.

In the coming time, the district will ask restaurants, hotels and tourist boats to reduce the consumption of hard-to-decompose plastic bags, and proactively respond to the anti-plastic waste campaign.

Nguyen Thi Bich Hien, a representative from the IUCN, suggested businesses have an overall assessment on their plastic waste management; pen short-, mid- and long-term targets on slashing plastic waste; and use naturally-originated products.

Sharing Sea Pearl Hotel’s experience, General Director of the hotel Nguyen Quyet Thang said his facility has blazed the trail on reducing ocean plastics by replacing single-use products with those from the nature like bamboo straws and cups in the past two years. Besides, he has ordered the suppliers to reduce plastic wrapping and asked his staff to classify daily waste.

However, Thang also pointed out that many customers still prefer plastic products due to their convenience while the market is not able to supply several goods.-VNA