HCM City: Residents swap trash for rice in fight against plastics

Update: 12:57 | 20/09/2020
District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City is trying to tackle the scourge of plastic waste by offering rice to residents in return for their trash.
hcm city residents swap trash for rice in fight against plastics
Local residents can get 1kg of rice for each kg of plastics or recyclable waste. (Photo: VNA)

Local residents can get 1kg of rice for each kg of plastics or recyclable waste, and each of them can exchange a maximum amount of 10kg of waste.

Since the programme was rolled out in early September, authorities have collected more than 1 tonnes of trash for recycling.

Pham Ngoc Minh, Vice President of the district’s Fatherland Front Committee, said apart from environmental protection, the programme aims to support local residents amidst COVID-19.

The exchange is held weekly and will last until December, she said, adding that the programme is financed by organisations and businesses in HCM City.

According to the official, more than 4 tonnes of rice have been mobilised for the programme so far. Along with rice, residents can get other necessities like cooking oil and salt, and plants.

Not only residents in District 1 but also those in other localities can also join the programme, Minh said.

Vietnam is one of Asia’s five worst polluters of ocean plastic waste, according to international organisations. With 13 million tonnes of waste released to the ocean every year, the country ranks 17th in the world for ocean plastic waste pollution.

Although there are no official statistics on the amount and varieties of plastic in the Vietnamese sea and islands, plastic waste is easy to see in Vietnamese waters, with the country’s 112 estuaries the main gateways of plastic to the ocean.

Statistics from Vietnam’s Association of Plastic illustrate the scale of the problem. In 1990, each Vietnamese consumed 3.8kg of plastic per year, but 25 years later, the figure hit 41kg.

As many as 1,000 plastic bags are used each minute but only 27 percent of them are treated and recycled.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment estimated that about 80 tonnes of plastic waste and bags are thrown away every day in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City combined.

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(Source: VNA)