Localities join in efforts to fight plastic pollution

Ten localities in Vietnam are taking actions to fight plastic pollution under Plastic Smart Cities (PSC), an initiative put forward by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Con Dao National Park in Con Dao District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province. The district is among the 10 Vietnamese localities taking part in the Plastic Smart Cities initiative. (Photo: VNA)

PSC, which aims to connect cities and tourist destinations in joint efforts to combat plastic pollution, has attracted the participation of 42 cities around the world. It looks to reduce 30 percent of plastic leakage in pilot areas by 2025 and secure no plastics in nature by 2030.

Ten localities in Vietnam have committed to become plastic smart cities under this initiative, namely Phu Quoc and Rach Gia cities (Kien Giang Province), Thanh Khe District (Da Nang City), Tuy Hoa City (Phu Yen Province), Tan An City (Long An Province), Hue City and A Luoi District (Thua Thien - Hue Province), Ha Tinh City (Ha Tinh Province), Con Dao District (Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province), and Dong Hoi City (Quang Binh Province).

WWF said the first localities joining the initiative like Phu Quoc, Thanh Khe, and Tuy Hoa have carried out a wide range of activities on a trial basis like improving waste collection systems, establishing the model of less-plastic waste markets, sorting waste at households, and taking intervention measures to prevent pollution recurrence.

Thanks to experiences of those localities, the ones taking part in PSC latter have made great strides, especially Hue and Con Dao.

In March 2022, Con Dao became the ninth in Vietnam to participate in PSC. It has shown good performance in all the four aspects of the initiative – stepping up communications, issuing policies, building pilot plastic reduction models, and managing plastic waste in its marine reserve. The district has initially inventoried waste at the source, dealt with waste sources, and reduced plastic bags.

On December 9 this year, the Con Dao People’s Committee coordinated with the PSC initiative in Vietnam, airlines, airports, passenger ship companies and ports, and tourism service providers signed a commitment to plastic reduction and launched a plastic smart tourism check-in model.

Huynh Trung Son, Vice Chairman of the district People’s Committee, said about 24 - 27 tons of solid waste is released in the district each day, and 41.5 percent of plastic waste comes from service and tourism establishments.

By committing to reduce plastic waste through concrete actions, businesses and the community have affirmed their role and sense of responsibility towards the ecological environment and the development of Con Dao, he noted.

In Hue city, PSC has been implemented through a project carried out from 2021 to 2024.

Tran Song, Standing Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee and head of the project management board, said that the project has strived to eradicate pollution hot spots by installing cameras to prevent unregulated waste dumping and placing 300 sets of dustbins for waste sorting at the source.

As a result, 2,481 tons of waste has been collected, including over 287 tons of plastic waste of which 6.7 tons has been recycled. As many as 88 monitoring cameras have been installed in 17 wards and communes and connected with the Smart City Monitoring and Operation Centre of Thua Thien - Hue Province.

Awareness-improving communications have also been promoted at tourist attractions, households, business establishments, and schools, providing information about plastic waste and sorting waste at the source for more than 49,000 people. Various events have also been held to raise public awareness of the issue such as Hue Plogging 2023 – a walking and waste pick-up event, recycling festivals, and others encouraging reduction of plastic use, Song added.

Ta Dinh Thi, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, said the moves by localities have not only created a clean environment for residents or mitigated impacts of pollution on economic sectors like tourism, transport and fisheries, but also considerably contributed to sustainable socioeconomic development in those localities and Vietnam at large.

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