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Hanoi Should Clamp Down on Single-Use Plastic, Experts Say

In a meeting last Friday, experts warned Hanoi authorities about the city’s growing plastic waste problem.

According to VnExpress, they advised the local government to take stronger action to restrict plastic packaging, while also educating the public about reducing plastic use. Many ideas on how to improve the plastic crisis in Hanoi were discussed.

Ranell Martin Dedicatoria, Southeast Asia Regional Program Manager of Germany-based ICLEI, an organization that works on sustainable development, mentioned examples of how other cities in the world addressed plastic waste. He discussed how the government of Italian city Torino set up 168 drinking water stations to reduce the use of bottled water, and how France’s Roubaix launched initiatives to encourage and promote the habit of not using plastic.

Emmanuel Cerise, director of PRX Vietnam, suggested that Hanoi's authorities get more involved in managing and treating plastic waste. He recommended that the city should “gradually switch from burying waste to recycling.” Other experts at the meeting also discussed how businesses should take responsibility in solving plastic pollution. They cited how the Dutch government has mandated that packaging producers pay for the cost of collecting and recycling plastic.

The issue of plastic waste has become so severe in Hanoi that Luu Thi Thanh Chi, deputy head of the capital's environment department, described it as "a headache" for the capital city, according to the news source. Pham Van Duc, deputy general director of the Hanoi Urban Environment Company (Urenco), reported that of the more than 6,000 tons of garbage generated each day in the city, up to 1,000 tons are plastic waste.

Meanwhile, there is a lack of governmental action in sorting and treating plastic waste, while proper recycling facilities that can safely handle the plastic have not been set up. In addition, there is no solid waste treatment model in Vietnam that fulfills technical, economic, social, and environmental requirements.