Hai Phong government office gives up one-time plastic
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It has stopped using plastic bottles, cups and straws and replaced them with multiple-use or environment-friendly products, said Nguyen Kim Pha, chief of staff of the office.

The northern port city’s Cat Hai island administration has persuaded 300 shopkeepers at Cat Ba Market to stop using plastic bags, Hoang Trung Cuong, deputy chairman of the Cat Hai District People’s Committee, said.

“The district aims to reduce the amount of trash by half in 2020.”

It would also persuade cruise operators, restaurants and hotels to stop using plastic products by the fourth quarter of this year and local families in future, he said.

But many people prefer the convenience of plastic products and there is a lack of supply of environment-friendly products, he admitted.

“We hope the public, businesses and international organizations cooperate to combat plastic waste and protect the environment of Cat Ba Island.”

Cat Ba, one kilometer to the west of Cat Hai, is the largest of Hai Phong’s Cat Ba archipelago’s 367 islands and a popular tourist destination.

Vietnam has been intensifying its anti-plastic efforts this year, with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc saying in June that the country should strive for zero disposable plastic use in urban stores, markets and supermarkets by 2021 and for no plastic products to be used anywhere in the country by 2025.

Many businesses, schools and government offices have stopped using plastic products as part of the efforts.

Bookstore chain Fahasa announced it would use paper bands to wrap books for people who bring their own bags instead of using single-use plastic bags starting August 1.

Two universities in HCMC said they would stop using single-use water bottles and plastic straws starting this month.

Supermarket chain Saigon Co.op stopped selling plastic straws in May.

Government offices in HCMC and Thua Thien-Hue Province are encouraged not to use plastic bottles or bags.

Vietnam has the ignominy of being the fourth biggest polluter of oceans in the world behind China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Vietnam generates around 2,500 tons of plastic waste daily, according to official figures.