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Environmentally-friendly bags come into use
  • | VOV | November 20, 2010 11:11 AM

Vietnamese people are familiar with plastic bags and rarely use environmentally-friendly products in their household. According to the HCM City Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the city’s people eliminate nearly 50 tonnes of plastic bags per day, of which 90 percent are dumped in the environment.

Scientists say it takes 20 - 1,000 years for a plastic bag to disintegrate and this becomes one indirect cause of cancer and neurological disease in the meantime.

Nguyen Khoa, deputy head of Chemical Technology Institute says there are tonnes of plastic bags discarded as rubbish in southern Vietnam which seriously pollutes the environment. The additive composing in the plastic is especially harmful to human health.

So far, 11 enterprises in HCM City have joined the “Month of environmentally-friendly bag use” by persuading their customers to minimize using plastic bags, presenting them with eco-friendly ones and granting coupon for customers using environmentally-friendly bags.

The Maximark has used this kind of bag since January, 2009 in spite of its business costs increase of 18-22 percent. The Saigon Coop is also involved in the programme. Phuc Le Gia Limited Company has pledged to finance 4,000 disposable bags and 2,000 tonnes of paper for the campaign.

Some people say they know plastic bag is poisonous, but it is difficult to buy and use an environmentally-friendly bag in the city. “Most supermarkets use plastic bags, and eco-friendly bags are very uncommon”, says a customer.

Vietnam currently has no standard for the environmentally-friendly bag, and businesses operating in this field must choose materials as well as the quality of their products. They also have to compete with the plastic bag in terms of price and counterfeits. Supermarkets and shops lack certainty in choosing their providers of eco-friendly bags.

Business representatives said the country needs a nationwide campaign on using the environmentally-friendly bag. They said State agencies should keep the public fully aware of the need to use disposable bags.

Nguyen Sy Anh, vice director of Kim Nhat Packing Company Limited, says his company has decided to use the environmentally-friendly bags for the sake of environment protection.

The businesses hope the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality will carefully consider a new tax level imposed on the sale of nylon bags in the market and confirm the properties of environmentally-friendly bags that need to be used instead before making a final decision in late November.

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