A female worker collects garbage in Nhơn Lý Commune, Quy Nhơn City. VNS Photo Kiều Vân
BÌNH ĐỊNH — The south-central coastal province of Bình Định is drawing up action plans to improve solid waste and plastic management to reduce marine plastic pollution, Chairman of Bình Định People's Committee Nguyễn Phi Long has said.
He made the comments at a Friday workshop in Quy Nhơn City, to launch the Global Environment Fund and a Norwegian Government-supported US$2 million project to help Việt Nam take advantage of its garbage resources, and support ocean plastic waste management.
The project will be piloted in Bình Định at a cost of about $1.2 million.
At the workshop jointly organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Bình Định Province's People's Committee, Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Representative in the country said: “Plastic from waste is not recovered and recycled, causing Việt Nam to waste nearly $3 billion each year.”
In Bình Định Province, the total domestic solid waste (DSW) is about 900 tonnes a day.
While the collection rate is from 47 to 90 per cent in urban areas (Quy Nhơn City can reach 94 per cent), and the rate is 30 per cent in rural areas.
The People's Committee chairman said tourism growth and general improvements in living standards had created more plastic waste.
Quy Nhơn City alone produces nearly 300 tonnes of waste a day, 70 tonnes of which is plastic waste.
“We hope the plastic recycling project will help the local authorities improve management capacity, thereby building the image of a green, clean and beautiful destination with 134km of coastline,” he said.
The project will pilot a waste management model in the fisheries industry, encouraging fishermen to bring waste back to shore after each trip.
The joint efforts are expected to collect and prevent about five tonnes of plastic from entering the ocean each month, with the goal of reducing 1,000 tonnes of trash entering the ocean each year.
The amount of plastic waste every day in the country reached about 19,000 tonnes.
“Tackling marine plastic is vital to the health of our oceans, people and planet and requires an integrated approach that shifts behaviours to reduce plastic use at source, while engaging all players in the value chain to ensure that plastic that is used gets re-used,” said Caitlin Wiesen.
A special aspect of the project is the key role of the commune Women's Union to develop a waste collection point that mobilises the participation of the mobile scrap collectors.
Tô Thị Bích Huệ, 31, a scrap collector in Nhơn Hội Commune, Quy Nhơn City, said that in 2017, her family was in difficult circumstances.
In 2020, she participated in a training on waste classification and treatment organised by the commune Women's Union.
She was supported with a bicycle, and every day she went to collect scrap and garbage.
“Currently, I earn VNĐ4 million per month, twice as much as before,” Huệ said.
Also on Friday, Bình Định Province and UNDP Việt Nam signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote cooperation on circular economy and waste management; sustainable development of the ocean economy; climate change and biodiversity; mine action and sustainable rural development. — VNS