Vietnam mulls more legal action to reduce plastic waste
Vietnam’s National Assembly is discussing proposed amendments to the country’s Environmental Protection Law to include the responsibilities of users, traders and collectors of plastic waste as well as its transportation and treatment.
Banana leaves replace plastic
Cheap plastic bags are available everywhere, from traditional markets to supermarkets, convenience stores, retailers and shopping centers. However, packaging and plastic bags with polyester ingredients pose serious environmental problems. Although most consumers know about the harmful effects of plastic bags on the environment, many ignore it and find it hard to use alternatives.
To deal with the alarming effect of plastic waste on the environment, many large supermarkets in Vietnam such as Co.opmart, Big C, and Lottemart have joined hands to do away with plastic bags and replace them with bags made of green banana leaves.
Vinamilk has replaced adhesive tapes made of polyester plastic with paper to attach promotional items. Vinamilk’s agencies and shops also no longer provide disposable straws or plastic spoons to customers (except for tourists using products on the spot). All of its changes have received positive consumer response.
Changing consumer habits
Doctor Dang Kim Chi, an independent consultant said that the draft revised Law on Environmental Protection has many amendments in line with new developments and international economic integration. Defining responsibilities of waste dischargers, collectors, transporters, treatment workers and local authorities is a necessary condition to promote green consumption and change consumer behavior, said Chi.
Thu Huong, a regular customer of Vinamilk’s branch in Hanoi, is highly supportive of the company’s limited use of disposable items. She said advertisement logos and images on milk packaging look more attractive than the previous adhesive tape usage. It not only boosts advertising, it also protects the environment, demonstrating corporate social responsibility to people’s living environment.
In addition to using natural materials for packaging, some supermarkets also have plans to promote production and consumption of these products.
Saigon Co.op has recommended that producers research and apply environmentally friendly materials and packaging; minimize usage of plastic packaging as a priority for the introduction of new products this year.
In order to promote a sustainable goods distribution model, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is drafting a trade development strategy until 2025 with a vision to 2030 which proposes solutions, especially for the development of marketplace infrastructure.
Source: Vietnam Economic News