HCM City has urged the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to strengthen promotion of eco-friendly plastic bag usage, to limit the impact of nylon bags on the environment.
All supermarkets in HCM City have committed to using eco-friendly bags. Retailers and traders in traditional markets are being encouraged to commit to using eco-friendly plastic bags instead of nylon bags.
Drastically limiting the use of plastic bags, which do not decompose, the city’s People’s Committee has also asked the ministry to study and issue regulations on the use of nylon bags at markets, trade centres, convenience stores and bookstores.
There should be a trademark for eco-friendly bags so that shoppers, retailers and organisations can recognise them easily, it said.
The city’s Department of Industry and Trade has been assigned the task of organising awareness programmes through the media on the environmental impact of plastic bags.
Additionally, retailers and traders in traditional markets are being encouraged to commit to using eco-friendly plastic instead of nylon bags.
The city’s Department of Taxation will be responsible for monitoring the collection and payment of environmental protection tax on plastic bags, which are commonly used in markets.
While some businesses have turned to eco-friendly plastic bags to supply to supermarkets and small traders, the production cost is high, so they are not widely used.
As per statistics from the ministry’s General Department of Environment, 38 enterprises across the country have been certified for producing eco-friendly plastic bags. All certified products are exempt from environmental protection tax.
Nguyen Thi Thanh, deputy director of the Environmental Protection Department, said the plan to restrict the use of plastic bags that harm the environment has been well-received by people and retail units.
All supermarkets in HCM City have committed to using eco-friendly bags. Since supermarkets made the switch, the number of plastic bags that impact the environment has reduced from 371 tonnes in 2013 to 80 tonnes in 2015.
According to experts, a nylon bag takes between 500 and 1,000 years to decompose. When they are being recycled, plastic bags emit toxic gases and wastes that directly affect the environment and health, they said.