HCMC makes effort to reduce consumption of non-biodegradable single-use plastics

In an effort to cut down on plastic waste , Ho Chi Minh City has implemented solutions including encouraging people to limit non-biodegradable plastic bags and single-use plastic use for years.
A retailer put their product in paper bags (Photo: SGGP)
A retailer put their product in paper bags (Photo: SGGP)

In big cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, tons of plastic bags and plastic wastes are produced from residents’ daily activities. Plastic items are widely used because of its low cost, versatility and durability; therefore, people prefer to use plastic bags and single-use products especially in supermarkets and traditional markets.

Environmental experts said that plastic pollution causes harm to humans, animals and plants through toxic pollutants taking hundreds or even thousands of years for plastic to break down, so the environmental damage is long-lasting resulting in economic losses.

According to the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the city has been making efforts in cutting down plastic waste and plastic products by issuing many decrees relating to the problem.

Till now, there has been changes in using plastic products. For instance, most of supermarkets and commercial malls in the city have used environmentally friendly bags. Additionally, more retailers in traditional markets have also distributed environmentally friendly carrier bags.

Last but not least, shop assistants in convenience stores and eateries in the city have replaced plastic items by environmentally friendly items such as bamboo straws, paper bags, textile bags and glass items. Many buyers’ awareness has been raised; therefore, they use textile bags for many times.

Nevertheless, because environmental friendly items are more expensive than their plastic peers; as a result, retailers in traditional market prefer plastic carrier bags. Accordingly, the city has launched more campaigns to call for awareness change in using plastic bags and single-use items, distributed free-of-charge environmentally friendly bags and encouraged firms to produce biodegradable products.

From early 2020, city authorities decided not to approve spending on single-use items and plastic bottle use in state administrative offices and political organizations’ meetings and various activities. The Department of Natural Resources and Environment said that employees of state offices have brought their personal items to the workplace.