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Saigon to Remove Single-Use Plastic Items in Government Agencies

Saigon authorities are moving forward with measures to minimize plastic usage in government functions.

As Tuoi Tre reports, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee recently issued a plan to participate in the nationwide anti-plastic movement from 2019 to 2021. Back in June, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment launched a national campaign, endorsed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, to cut back on Vietnam’s plastic waste creation.

Specifically, from this August, Saigon’s government agencies and public sector organizations are required to come up with their own plan to reduce single-use plastic in meetings, conferences and other official activities. Bottled water is also banned from government offices; instead, agencies are encouraged to use reusable water containers larger than 20 liters, or boiled tap water.

Saigon will also prohibit use of single-use plastic items like cups and straws from all daily government activities, including those in public schools, organizations and medical facilities. From 2020, the HCMC Department of Finance will remove such items from the city’s official budget for municipal agencies.

Meanwhile, the city requests that public schools add lessons regarding the impacts of plastic waste and benefits of waste sorting in their syllabus. Regarding the private sector, Saigon aims to have 100% of supermarkets, department stores and convenience shops use biodegradable packaging instead of plastic bags.

While the switch to eco-friendly products might take years to spread to the majority of retail spaces, some prominent chains have shown willingness to be part of the movement. A few months ago, major supermarket Saigon Co.op announced that stores would remove plastic straws from shelves, replacing them with those made of rice flour, steel and paper.

Most recently, book and stationery retailer Fahasa responded to customer feedback, saying that their outlets would use paper bands to wrap books if patrons brought their own bag. Bookstores will also use bags made of recycled paper instead of plastic ones.

Related Articles:

Fahasa to Drop Plastic Bags, Use Paper Wrappings Next Month

Saigon Co.op to Stop Selling Plastic Straws in Supermarkets Nationwide

Starbucks Vietnam Introduces Strawless Lids, Seeks to Curb Single-Use Plastic From 2019

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