Today, when you by something in a store, it is necessary to think about the effects that the product has on the environment. Sometimes we buy products that we do not really need, other times, we buy products with excessive packaging. But these acts have consequences on the environment because they increase the use of plastic and plastic packaging is not always recyclable and pollutes massively.
Do you know that in Vietnam, Vietnamese households use an average of four plastic bags per day and that the number of plastic packages sent to the landfill each week is increasing at an alarming rate? The country now has one of the highest levels of plastic waste in the world with China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. According to scientists at the Institute of Management of the Seas and Islands in Vietnam, the country would release between 28 and 73 million tons of plastic waste in the ocean each year, or 6% of the worldwide’ total volume, and this will increase by 10 million tonnes each year. In Ho Chi Minh City, around 250,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated each year, of which 48,000 tonnes (19.2%) are landfilled, while the remaining 200,000 are either recycled or released directly into the environment. When plastics are released into the sea, that affects the soil and the marine life. The first effect has a visual impact with beaches flooded with stranded waste. The second effect less visual but the most important causes a significant mortality in fish, marine mammals and birds dying by strangulation or suffocation by swallowing plastics. The consequences kill the environment, cause sanitary problems and some repercussions on tourism and so economy. If nothing is done, by 2050 there will be more plastic waste in the ocean than fishes. In Vietnam, people start to get aware of this massive pollution and green initiatives emerge. Last May, the authorities drew up a campaign to encourage local residents to use biodegradable bags instead of traditional plastic bags, and today many Vietnamese and foreign associations go for green actions against the use of plastic. Here are some of them.
Change is a local NGO under the Union of Science and Technology Associations of Vietnam (VUSTA). This association is the official sponsor of the 350.org Movement, the WildAid campaign in Vietnam, the PEEK Program and a number of other environmental projects. CHANGE works on community communication and behavior change about environmental issues and organizes awareness campaigns. CHANGE also serves as a gateway to connect private sectors, communities, and government agencies to find favorable solutions for environmental issues.
Thế Hệ Xanh Vietnam (Vietnam Green Generation Network) is a network of young people, and various organizations sharing the same interest: the environment and climate change. Their goal is to educate the community about the environment, connect them, support, promote and coordinate various activities.
CleanUp Vietnam is an organization in Vietnam that engages young people, families, businesses, and communities to take action for the environment. They propose action days to clean plastic waste from cities, beaches and after festivals in Vietnam.
Zero waste list on their sites, Waste conscious businesses, using no plastic straw and nor plastic packaging. Zero Waste also sells environmentally friendly products online and propose alternatives against plastic use.
Green VN established in France aims to educate Vietnamese to recycle garbage and reduce pollution in Vietnam. Their goal is to install a garbage collection center in Hanoi so that the inhabitants can take there their garbage from everyday life: plastics, organic waste, aluminum or cardboard in exchange for money. Once harvested, the waste (cardboard, plastic, aluminum) would be sold to industrial and recycling companies to become compost sold then to farmers. Follow the project Here
Laiday Refill Station
Laiday is a refill station where non-food items are sold in bulk. You can buy environmentally friendly products and also recharge them without having to buy a new product with plastic packaging. Address: 83 Xuan Thuy District 2 HCMC –
Direct Imex is specialized in the manufacture and distribution of reusable and customizable bags and packaging. Manufacturer and distributor based in Vietnam since 2015, they guarantee to their customers a tailor-made service, promotional bag, or with the ecological industrial packaging of their choice. They also offer a sourcing and consulting service to help companies wanting to switch to eco-friendly packaging.
Recently, Vietnamese Youth, as part of a collective effort launched the NoStrawChallenge on HCMC, to fight against the use of plastic straw, to mitigate the negative impacts on the environment.
This creative coworking space located in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2, holds regular film screenings, and lectures to raise people about environmental issues.