Making a habit of using environmentally friendly products

Tuesday, 2018-06-05 12:31:01
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The production and consumption of eco-friendly plastic bags should be encouraged. (Photo:
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NDO - Currently, the use of plastic bags is quite common in daily life. However, the abuse of ordinary plastic bags is causing considerable concern for the environment. Many countries around the world have started to apply measures to minimize the use of plastic bags, plastic bottles and cans. Shops and supermarkets in developed countries are switching from using plastic bags to environmentally friendly bags such as cloth and paper bags.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam annually uses and disposes of more than 30 billion plastic bags. However, only about 17% of them are regularly reused, the rest are discarded after one use. Plastic bags last for a long period of time even hundreds of years before they can decompose, causing widespread soil degradation.

The serious environmental pollution due to plastic bags, as well as long-term environmental warnings have led many people to start paying close attention to restricting the use of plastic bags. In addition, some legal documents on the management of plastic waste have been issued, such as Decision No. 582/QÐ-TTg of the Prime Minister on approving the project to enhance the control of the environmental pollution caused by the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in daily activities up to 2020.

Recently, the Prime Minister issued Decision No.491/QÐ-TTg dated May 7, 2018 on approving for the revision of the National Strategy on Integrated Management of Solid Waste to 2025, with a vision to 2050, including the goal of using 100% eco-friendly plastic bags at trade centres and supermarkets instead of non-biodegradable plastic bags.

It is a fact that the awareness of many people in collecting, sorting, transporting and treating household waste, especially plastic waste and plastic bags is limited. Meanwhile, environmentally friendly plastic bags have not been able to compete with ordinary plastic bags, leading to ineffective support policies from the State. Therefore, in order to incrementally reduce environmental pollution from the use of plastic bags, Vietnam needs to apply synchronous and long-term management solutions, from legal to economic solutions. Plastic bags should be banned from use in supermarkets and trade centres, and the production, purchase and distribution of plastic bags should be restricted.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and relevant ministries, sectors and localities should continue to coordinate in the implementation of solutions to encourage the production and consumption of eco-friendly plastic bags; and restrict production and the use of biodegradable plastic bags in daily life. Environmental protection taxes should be increased for biodegradable plastic bags, at the same time a consumer market for environmentally friendly bags should be facilitated. In addition, scientific research, application and transfer of technologies should be stepped up to recycle waste of non-biodegradable plastic bags into environmentally friendly products in order to gradually create a habit of using environmentally friendly products in people's daily lives.

This year’s World Environment Day (June 5) under the theme “Resolving pollution caused by plastic and nylon” is also an opportunity for Vietnam and the international community to increase awareness of the impacts of plastic waste and non-biodegradable plastic bags, while encouraging the use and reuse of environmentally friendly bags.