HCM City shoppers go for eco-friendly bags
HCM CITY — Retailers and residents in HCM City are becoming more familiar with eco-friendly bags and are discontinuing the use of plastic bags, according to the city's Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
Eco-friendly bags are distributed to consumers at a Co.op Mart Supermarket in HCM City. Local residents are increasingly opting to use paper bags over plastic ones, according to a recent survey. — VNA/VNS Photo
Le Van Khoa, director of the department's Waste Recycling Fund, said that supermarkets, trade centres and traditional markets were using more polypropylene-fiber bags and paper bags rather than plastic bags, according to a three-year survey by the Fund.
They include stores such as Big C, Co.op Mart and Metro supermarkets as well as the more traditional markets such as Ben Thanh, Binh Tay, Nguyen Tri Phuong, and Ba Chieu. Many of them are offering free bags to customers.
Supermarkets that are part of the Metro Cash & Carry chain have stopped giving plastic bags to buyers of their goods.
Khoa said youth unions in many districts and wards had launched campaigns to call for the reduction in use of plastic bags. Some of the unions are offering paper bags for free to markets.
City residents continue to use a minimum of 30-60 plastic bags a day, the Fund estimates.
The disposal of plastic bags has contributed to a congested drainage system and is hindering the normal growth of plants, Khoa said.
He said the city was considering levying a high tax on plastic bag production and promoting the development of eco-friendly bags.
Khoa told the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper that 24 out of 39 producers of plastic bags around the city continued to ignore warnings about the plastic bags' effects on the environment.
However, producers of eco-friendly bags said they had no authorised criteria on which to base production.
Le Loc, chairman of the CGCN Company, said local testing agencies had not approved his products even though he had tried to make environmentally friendly bags according to international standards.
Phan Minh Tan, director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, has recommended that agencies in the field act promptly to deal with the situation with an aim to encourage the use of alternatives for plastic bags. —VNS