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PM Releases Highly Ambitious Plan to Reduce Coastal Plastic Waste

A highly ambitious new plan aims to dramatically cut down on plastic waste in tourist areas and coastal environments.

VnExpress reports that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has unveiled a national action plan regarding the management of plastic waste in the ocean until 2030.

Accordingly, by the end of the next decade, Vietnam will reduce the amount of plastic waste it dumps into the sea, while also collecting all lost or discarded fishing equipment. Such gear is a common sight on beaches along the coast. Furthermore, 100% of coastal tourism service providers would stop utilizing single-use plastic products and bags, while all marine protected areas nationwide would be cleared of plastic waste.

A further plank of the plan is for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to boost its annual monitoring of the environment, and fully study the presence of plastic waste at the mouths of rivers and in 12 island districts every half-decade.

These goals are wildly ambitious, especially given the current state of plastic pollution throughout Vietnam, but the plan features strategies, the news source shares.

Moving forward, the government will strive to improve public awareness of the dangers of plastic waste, change the way people treat plastic, and properly treat plastic waste in coastal areas. The environment ministry has also been tasked with cooperating with officials in coastal provinces to create programs aimed to reduce, and eventually stop, the use of plastic products and bags.

This is the latest in a string of efforts to gradually reduce Vietnam's huge plastic waste problem. In June, the prime minister endorsed a plan to remove single-use plastic items from supermarkets and markets by 2021, and to effectively eliminate such items nationwide by 2025.

However, last month a conference in Hanoi reported that Vietnam's recycling system lacks the capacity to effectively reduce plastic waste in the country.