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Vietnam Traffic Police Introduce Bamboo Nozzles for Breathalyzers

Vietnam’s nascent green movement is hitting the streets in a unique way.

Last week, Vietnam’s Traffic Police Department (C08) announced that it was launching a trial initiative to replace breathalyzer nozzles made of single-use plastic with those made of bamboo and wood pulp to reduce their impact on the environment, according to Lao Dong.

In the first phase of the trial, the department has ordered 35,000 bamboo nozzles for seven squads of traffic police operating on national highways. Instead of blowing into the breathalyzer via a plastic nozzle, drivers now use a 10-centimeter mouthpiece made of bamboo.

Should the test period yield positive results, the department said that it would consider expanding the scheme to a national scale. Actual usage has shown that these new nozzles do not affect the result of breath tests.

Colonel Đỗ Thanh Bình, deputy director of the Traffic Police Department, explained in a statement that his department was following regulations from the health ministry stipulating that, for safety reasons, each driver must have a new nozzle for their breath test.

“If we continue using plastic, each year millions of nozzles will be discarded into the environment; they are not easily degradable,” Bình added in Vietnamese. “Using nozzles made of wood pulp and bamboo will tackle this problem.”

Starting from January 1, 2020, a much stricter set of regulations regarding drunk driving came into effect across the country, and traffic police officers became much more active in testing the blood alcohol of drivers. The presence of breathalyzers is now commonplace, though the coronavirus pandemic has evoked some sanitary concerns surrounding breath tests.

Back in February, officers in Soc Trang Province thought of a solution to minimize transmission risks in breath tests by introducing balloons. Drivers would blow into a new balloon before the air is then released into the breathalyzer for testing.

[Photo via ATV]