Marine plastic pollution needs thorough solutions

November, 30/2019 - 08:59
As Việt Nam is listed as top five plastic polluters of the world, it is necessary to encourage eco-friendly technical solutions and use bio-degradable plastic products, participants at a workshop on marine plastic pollution heard on Friday.


Collecting plastic waste at Quy Nhơn Port, Bình Định Province. VNA/VNS Photo Nguyên Linh

HÀ NỘI Việt Nam had been listed as one of the top five plastic polluters in the world, so eco-friendly technical solutions and the use bio-degradable plastic products needed urgent promotion, participants at a workshop heard yesterday in Hà Nội.

According to the United Nations, about 300 million tonnes of plastics including billions of tonnes of plastic bottles and more than five billion plastic bags, were produced globally every year.

Only 27 per cent of plastic waste is recycled each year worldwide. The rest is thrown out and ends up in our seas. It takes hundreds of years for the waste to decompose. Plastic waste is also poisonous for marine animals.

Scientists estimated there would be more plastic waste in the oceans than fish by 2050.

Some statistics revealed at the workshop showed how plastic pollution in Việt Nam has reached an alarming level.

Phạm Bảo Sơn, deputy director of the Việt Nam National University (VNU), Hà Nội, said Việt Nam ranked 17 out of 109 countries with the highest rates of plastic pollution.

The Vietnamese Government has joined global efforts to take concrete action to manage and reduce plastic waste such as reducing single use plastic; reusing and recycling products; and encouraging a circular economy and green growth.

Besides the target of discussing plastic reduction solutions, the workshop aimed to kick off co-operation between Việt Nam and international partners in marine plastic waste solutions and management policies, Sơn said.

Đặng Kim Chi from the Việt Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment said: “Most plastic products are used only once and then thrown away. The amount of plastic waste keeps increasing as the demand surges. Only a small percentage of plastic waste is recycled or reused compared to 60 per cent and 90 per cent of the recycling rate for paper waste and steel waste.”

The usage value of plastic waste was short. It absorbed toxic elements over time and had negative impacts on the environment and public health, she said.

Participants at the workshop said there was a need for general management policies on plastic production. Eco-friendly technical and technological solutions should also be encouraged. VNS