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

The supermarket chain will opt for environment-friendly alternatives such as rice straws, paper straws and steel straws instead.

From May 2019, plastic straws will be withdrawn from the shelves of all Saigon Co.op's retail channels across the country including Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food, Co.op Smiles and Cheers, Tuoi Tre reports.

According to Nguyen Anh Duc, permanent vice director of Saigon Co.op, not only will plastic straw products be removed from the shelves, plastic straws that are attached to other products will also be removed.

In addition, Saigon Co.op will request brands and businesses operating in their supermarkets to limit their usage of plastic straws to a minimum. Duc said that the decision is a step towards a more eco-friendly practice for their model of business.

Many efforts to scrap plastic has emerged in Vietnam recently. Many supermarkets across Vietnam, including Saigon Co.op, have started using banana leaves to wrap vegetables.

More systematic changes are also on the way. A new draft decree proposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment suggests that from 2025, Vietnam will only allow plastic waste of high value to be imported.

Vietnam is among the countries cited as the main sources of most of the ocean's plastic waste. Not only does the country have a domestic plastic waste problem, Vietnam is also dealing with a high amount of foreign waste imports. According to statistics from the Vietnam Plastic Association, the country imported 91,400 tons of plastic waste per year, in the period of 2013-2017. 

In 2018, after China placed a ban on foreign waste imports, companies in the United States — along with other big exporters of plastic wastes such as the UK, Japan, Germany and Mexico — redirected their plastic waste exports to Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam whose regulatory framework for foreign waste import is still either lax or non-existent.

[Photo/CC BY]


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