The total amount of plastic waste generated by tourists in Vietnam in 2019 was 116,000 tons, in 2030 it is estimated to be nearly 340,000 tons. Plastic waste pollution will without doubt affect the image, attractiveness and competitiveness of Vietnam's tourism industry.
A shocking amount of plastic waste from the tourism industry
In Vietnam, the amount of plastic waste is very high, accounting for about 8%-12% of domestic solid waste. In addition, preliminary statistics show that Vietnam currently has over 400 million tons of plastic waste leaking into the ocean, equivalent to a leak of 4.7 kg/person/year. According to the data released in February 2023 from the Institute of Tourism Development, before Covid-19 in 2019, 85 million domestic tourists discharged nearly 61,000 tons of plastic waste, 18 million international tourists discharged more than 55,200 tons of plastic waste. The total amount of plastic waste generated by tourists in 2019 was 116,000 tons. This figure is estimated to be nearly 340,000 tons in 2030.
According to a statistical report from the Institute of Tourism Development Research, the International Organisation for the Conservation of Nature and some localities, the amount of plastic waste discharged into the environment at tourist destinations accounts for a very large proportion and is increasing day by day. For example, in Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh), an average of 4 tons of waste per day is estimated, and the image of plastic waste floating on the sea is not rare to be seen. In Sam Son (Thanh Hoa province), an average of 105 tons of waste/day is released, of which plastic waste accounts for 24%, equivalent to 25.2 tons/day.
According to the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment), it is estimated that on average, each tourist discharges into the environment from 5 to 10 plastic bags/day, 2-4 plastic bottles, milk cartons/day, not to mention disposable plastic products and personal items. The amount of plastic waste and plastic bags of the whole country accounts for about 10-12% of domestic solid waste, especially in some cities with developed tourism activities.
Ongoing solutions to tackle plastic waste from the tourism industry
In addition to the Law on Environmental Protection 2020, Decree No. 08/2022/ND-CP of the Government also sets a goal after 2025, not to circulate and use single-use plastic products, plastic packaging that is difficult to separate biodegradation at tourist sites and destinations. Decision No. 1316/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister also affirms that by 2025, 100% of tourist resorts and accommodation establishments will not use single-use plastic products and non-biodegradable plastic bags.
In addition, some popular destinations in Vietnam are considering banning tourists from carrying plastics products. For example, it is required that tourists do not bring plastic bottles, plastic bags, materials with risk of environmental pollution when traveling to Co To island from September 1, 2022, furthermore, the island also requires each resident on the island needs to uphold the sense of responsibility, actively participate in and organise anti-plastic waste activities with specific and practical actions.
The Vietnam Tourism Association also needs to encourage and encourage their member businesses to respond quickly and strongly to the program to reduce plastic waste in the tourism industry through timely and effective collection and treatment of plastic waste. Industry experts believe that it is necessary to continue to amend and supplement regulations to raise the level of penalties for major violations related to plastic waste.
Source: the Internet