The Hanoitimes - Vietnam will join global efforts to stop producing and using disposable and non-recyclable plastic products, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha told Executive Director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) Erik Solheim.
Minister Tran Hong Ha stressed that Vietnam will accompany the world to stop producing and using disposable and non-recycled plastic products. “We will apply tariffs on plastic products like other countries to reduce and fight plastic pollution,” Ha added.
Their meeting took place on June 26 afternoon on the sidelines of the sixth Global Environment Facility Assembly (GEF 6) in the central city of Da Nang, discussing issues of mutual interest.
Vietnam will promptly issue financial regulations on plastic bags as many countries worldwide have imposed tariffs on the products, helping to reduce 90% of the usage, Ha said.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha and Executive Director of the UNEP Erik Solheim. Photo: Viet Hung/MONRE
The minister thanked valuable cooperation and support of the UNEP as well as Executive Director Erik Solheim for Vietnam and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) in particular.
The UNEP has helped Vietnam with technologies and consultants in building environmental laws and policies, provided scholarships for Vietnamese environmental workers, and assisted the country in environmental projects and programs, Ha added.
"We are looking forward to receive support from Executive Director of the UNEP Erik Solheim," the minister said.
For his part, Erik Solheim said contents of his discussion with the minister will be added to the list of the UNEP’s activities during the GEF 6.
He also spoke of the Kigali Amendment to phase out hydro fluorocarbons (HFC) adopted by member countries in October 2016.
The Kigali Amendment will officially take effect on January 1, 2019, provided that it is ratified by at least 20 member states of the Montreal Protocol. To date, 38 countries have approved the document, said Erik Solheim.
During the meeting, the two sides compared notes on maritime waste in the context that maritime plastic waste is a global issue. Vietnam has the responsibility for joining the world to address the challenge. In his presentation at the G7 summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc pledged that Vietnam would contribute positively to address this issue.
A recent international survey revealing that Vietnam is one of the five countries in the world discharging the most plastic waste, with about 1.8 million tons dumped each year.
According to earthday.org, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced since plastic was introduced in the 1950s. The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled. Most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, thus, all that plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years.
The overview of the sixth Global Environment Facility Assembly in Da Nang