Posted on 23 June 2020

On June 19, 2020 - Phu Yen province officially committed to joining the Plastic Smart Cities programme to minimise and eventually stop the production of plastic waste. They aim to reduce 30% of plastic waste discharged into the environment by 2025.
At the Conference on Reducing Domestic Solid Wastes and Plastic Wastes in Phu Yen, Mr. Ta Dinh Thi, Director General of Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands and representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and Mr. Nguyen Chi Hien, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Phu Yen Province, have signed the Declaration of Intent into the Plastic Smart Cities programme by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and introduced a drafted Action Plan to address plastic pollution in the province. The conference highlighted several figures in the solid-waste collection, transport, and treatment in the province. Based on that, many innovative and synchronized solutions have been initiated to increase the effectiveness of waste management.

Being on the frontline in the fight against plastic pollution, Phu Yen and other coastal cities are currently suffering serious impacts from ineffective waste management systems. In recent years, socio-economic development has increased the demand for goods, raw materials, and energy in the province. The amount of solid waste collected increases by an average of 10-16% per year (according to Le Hoang Anh et al, 2018). The total amount of domestic solid waste generated in Tuy Hoa city alone is about 132 tons/day. In Song Cau town, it is about 84 tons/day, andwithin the remaining districts is about 308 tons/day. Meanwhile, according to a WWF survey in Tuy Hoa city in 2019, plastic waste accounts for 18.31% of the volume of domestic solid waste and is only increasing. Most of it consists of plastic bags, plastic cups, and plastic straws, accounting for 60% of the plastic waste amount. They are composed mostly of low-quality plastic which is difficult to decompose and can not be recycled (about 80%).

With the aim of implementing the National Action Plan on Ocean Plastic Waste Management by 2030, approved by the Prime Minister, and with the lessons and experiences shared from around the world, Phu Yen has drafted an action plan with smart and locally suitable solutions. According to Mr. Hien, “The draft action plan is focused on five main tasks: communicating to raise public awareness and educate children; piloting plastic waste mitigation models including collecting, sorting, and transporting solid waste and plastic waste; developing coordination mechanismsamong relevant stakeholders to monitor and control plastic waste pollution; researching and building solid waste and plastic waste management mechanisms; and cooperating internationally to undertake scientific research”.

However, plastic waste pollution cannot be solved without the determination of policy and legal perspectives. “It can be said that Vietnam has a relatively adequate legal framework for waste management in general. However, the issue of supervision, inspection, and control is still difficult and ineffectively tackled.  We will strengthen coordination among relevant agencies to continue developing, supplementing, and finalizing legal documents with guidance under the Law, and promote the implementation of the activities adopted in the National Action Plan in general and the Local Action Plan in particular,” said Mr. Thi.
Mr. Van Ngoc Thinh, WWF-Viet Nam Country Director, expressed, “We are very welcome and pleased to cooperate with Phu Yen province in providing solutions to reduce plastic waste in the province. We hope there will be more localities participating in the Plastic Smart Cities programme in the near future, in order to create a global movement to promote the entire society to act in order to deal with the plastic pollution and reduce plastic discharged into  nature.” 
Representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the People's Committee of Phu Yen Province, have signed the Declaration of Intent into the Plastic Smart Cities programme by WWF.
© Dinh Lam Giang / GreenHub
Representatives from different Government entities contributed feedback for the drafted Action Plan to address plastic pollution in the province
© Dinh Lam Giang / GreenHub