Embassies, int’l organisations join in preventing plastic pollution in Vietnam

Wednesday, 2018-05-30 10:54:15
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Plastic waste is harmful to the environment. (Illustrative image)
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NDO/VNA – Twenty-two embassies and international organisations in Vietnam will sign a code of conduct on the prevention of plastic pollution on June 4, to mark World Environment Day (June 5), according to the Canadian Embassy in Vietnam.

Initiated by the Canadian Embassy, the campaign aims to raise public awareness of the adverse impacts of plastic pollution and call for changes in behaviours, institutions and policies, thus helping to reduce plastic waste in Vietnam.

The expected signatories are the Asian Development Bank, the embassies of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the US, the EU, 16 agencies, foundations, and programmes, and the offices of the UN, and the World Bank.

They will commit to assessing single-use plastic products in their offices and encouraging their staff and partners to reduce plastic products.

Following the ceremony, there will be a roundtable workshop on plastic pollution, during which policy makers, business executives, scholars and environmental activists will discuss the challenges to plastic waste reduction and propose measures to effectively address the issue.

The Canadian Embassy said that approximately 300 million tonnes of plastics are produced globally each year, half of which is used to create single-use products such as bags, bottles and straws. One million plastic bags are used every one minute.

According to earthday.org, 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic has been produced since plastic was introduced in the 1950s. The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. 91 percent of plastic waste isn’t recycled. And since most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, all that plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years.

Of note, eight million metric tonnes of plastic winds up in the oceans each year. That’s enough trash to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full trash bags of plastic compounding every year.

A recent international survey revealed that Vietnam is one of the five countries in the world discharging the most plastic waste, with about 1.8 million tonnes dumped each year.