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Jul 23, 2023 / 20:39

Hanoian consumers increasingly embrace green products

As environmental awareness grows, consumers in Hanoi are increasingly gravitating toward ecologically friendly green and clean items.

More and more consumers in Hanoi are embracing green and clean, eco-friendly products, demanding quality and convenience products for health, energy regeneration, and environmental protection.

After the Covid-19 pandemic, many consumers in Hanoi said they prefer to buy organic, bi-organic, and non-GMO (genetically modified) food products because they do not want to have a negative impact on the environment. Although they cost more, these products are still popular with consumers over health and environmental issues.

Nguyen Tuyet Nhung, 38, a resident of Cau Giay District, told The Hanoi Times that she used to buy organic food only occasionally, although she understood that organic products were better for her health. However, after learning more about the organic production process, it has become a shopping priority for her, even though it is more expensive. "Besides the health benefits, it's also a way to help protect the natural ecosystem," Nhung said.

Doan Thi Kim Dung, who lives in Nam Tu Liem District, now brings a bamboo and rattan basket with her whenever she goes to the market, saying, "I use this basket to store food, vegetables, and fruits. I try to minimize the use of plastic bags because they are harmful to our living environment."

She added that when she buys ready-to-eat food, she often brings a glass box with her to store the food. She refuses to put food in plastic boxes or bags because they are harmful to the environment and not good for her health.

"I also often order drinks online. I have to see which stores use eco-friendly or reusable utensils like paper cups or bamboo straws, and then I order them. It has become my consumption habit," Dung told The  Hanoi Times.

 Consumers buy vegetables wrapped in biodegradable plastic bags at the Big C supermarket in Hanoi. Photo: Hoai Nam/The Hanoi Times

Vu Tat Dat, the owner of a grocery store on Duong Khue Street in Nam Tu Liem District, said more people are using reusable boxes and bags to store their goods. "I am very happy to see this action of my customers, which saves money and contributes to environmental protection," Dat told The Hanoi Times.

According to a survey by market research company Intage Vietnam, 95% of consumers in Hanoi are aware of environmental protection, 59% of consumers choose to eat green vegetables and grains more often, 44% reuse old clothes instead of buying new ones, 61% turn off electrical appliances when not in use, 73% use safe products, 44% limit the use of plastic bags.

Notably, nearly 90% of consumers prefer socially responsible companies, and 43% have a good impression of environmentally friendly brands and companies, according to the survey.

Difficulties and obstacles remain

According to Dang Thuy Ha, Director of the Consumer Insight Division of NielsenIQ Vietnam, although green consumption brings many benefits to investors and people's living environment, there are still many difficulties and obstacles for green products to replace polluting products completely. It requires efforts from manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers' buying habits.

Green consumption can be defined as the purchase, use, and distribution of environmentally friendly products that do not pose a risk to human health or threaten the diversity of natural ecosystems. It is driven by the desire to preserve resources for future generations and improve human life quality.

Thuy Ha said it's necessary to have appropriate policies to promote green and sustainable production and consumption. In the trend of green consumption, consumers increasingly expect companies to take initiatives and practical actions to improve the environment. "Therefore, companies that want to seize opportunities from the new consumption trend must actively participate and ensure sustainability criteria in production and business."

"Specifically, the first and easiest solution is for businesses to replace and reduce plastic in packaging. Next, investments can be made to use sustainable and environmentally friendly energy," she added.

Biodegradable eco bags are promoted at a fair organized by the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade. Photo: Thuy Linh

Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Deputy Director of Hanoi's Department of Industry and Trade, told local media that the municipal authorities have recently adopted the Sustainable Production and Consumption Program.

The program has helped about 50% of enterprises in the distribution sector receive guidance and apply solutions for cleaner production and energy saving; reduce the rate of using non-biodegradable packaging by 65% in wet markets, shopping centers, and supermarkets. As many as 70% of enterprises in industrial parks apply technological innovation towards clean and environmentally friendly technology; 80% participate in the production and supply chain of safe agricultural products and food.

Phuong Lan said that it will take a long time to change consumption habits, but with the willingness of consumers, the involvement of government management agencies and the joint commitment of enterprises, the trend of green consumption will surely spread and grow stronger.

"In 2023-2025, Hanoi has set a target for all supermarkets and shopping malls to use eco-friendly packaging to gradually replace single-use plastic containers, which are difficult to biodegrade. The city has encouraged the promotion of sustainable supply chains and the integration of sustainable production and consumption content into education and training programs at all levels," Lan added. 

She underlined that over the past few years, Hanoi authorities have been undertaking environmental protection projects with the aid of local and foreign businesses, organisations and individuals. Many initiatives have been taken by businesses such as using paper and recycled plastic straws and packaging in coffee and tea shops, supermarkets and food brands.