This mandatory requirement has been announced by the government of Co To Island District, Quang Ninh Province, after a one-year trial period of not using single-use plastic items brought many positive results to the ecosystem.
The decision aimed at curbing plastic waste and marine pollution.
Administrative bodies, schools, markets, businesses, and fishing vessels within the island district will be prohibited from using plastic bags and disposable plastic items.
To implement this regulation, authorities are setting up a checkpoint at Co To Port, where transport operators, passenger trains, tourism services, and accommodations will be required to educate visitors about the new rules and replace plastic items with eco-friendly alternatives.
In August 2022, the island district launched the Zero Plastic Waste programme, aiming to raise awareness among islanders and tourists on reducing plastic bags and single-use plastic, and has seen positive results.
Awareness of using environmentally friendly items among people in the island district has been raised. People and the government work together to periodically clean up trash from beaches and roads and collect wastewater for treatment to help keep the waters of Co To Island clean.
The marine environment in Co To has improved, some rare animals such as sea turtles and dolphins have appeared near the shore after many years of absence. With the marine environment regenerating, many coral reefs have begun to grow well.
Every year, Co To Island District welcomes 6,000-8,000 tourists. Before testing stopping the use of single-use plastic, on peak tourist season days, environmental companies had to collect a huge amount of waste, from 15-17 tonnes per day. The amount of waste from tourism is also a burden on the island district's environment.
Therefore, stopping the use of single-use plastic items in Co To Island District will contribute to revitalising the marine environment and developing sustainable tourism.