The flow of plastic entering the ocean is expected to double by 2040. To prevent this tsunami of difficult-to-decompose waste, experts have proposed a global treaty which could oblige all nations to reduce how much plastic they produce and emit to the environment.
At a recent meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya, ministers and representatives from 173 countries agreed on the terms for negotiating such a treaty over the next two years.
Is this the turning point for plastic pollution the world needs? And how will it work? We asked Steve Fletcher, a professor of ocean policy and economy at the University of Portsmouth and an advisor to the UN Environment Prograamme on plastic.
What has actually been agreed in Nairobi?
The UNEA is a gathering of all United Nations member states to discuss and adopt policies for tackling global environmental problems. It is the highest environmental decision-making body in the world. On Wednesday March 2 2022, ministers and representatives from 173 countries formally adopted a resolution to start negotiations for a legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution.
Agreeing the mandate and focus of the negotiations is just the start. Before the end of 2024, the substance of the agreement will need to be thrashed out.
Take-away food and drink packaging is dumped in a public site in Thu Thiem New Urban Area in HCMC, May 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh TranGarbage from take-away food and drinks make up 44 percent of plastic waste found at surveyed sites in Vietnam, according to the World Bank.
Plastic waste at both surveyed river and coastal sites across Vietnam came mostly from take-away-related sources.
Take-away related waste accounted for 43.6 percent in number and 35.1 percent in weight of the total plastic waste, followed by fisheries-related waste (32.6 percent in number and 30.6 percent in weight), and household-related waste (21.6 percent in number and 22.8 percent in weight), according to a World Bank report released this week.Total amount of plastic waste by source on surveyed sites in Vietnam2020-2021Take-away related wasteTake-away related wasteFisheries related waseFisheries related waseHousehold related wasteHousehold related wasteAgriculture related-wasteAgriculture related-wasteSanitary and medical related wasteSanitary and medical related wasteTake-away related waste●
Xu hướng gọi đồ ăn trực tuyến trong giai đoạn dịch COVID-19 làm gia tăng chóng mặt lượng rác thải nhựa, tạo áp lực nặng nề đến môi trường toàn cầu.
Theo thống kê của Bộ Tài nguyên và Môi trường, bình quân mỗi hộ gia đình sử dụng khoảng 1 kg túi nilon mỗi tháng. Lượng chất thải nhựa và túi nilon hiện tại chiếm khoảng từ 8 – 12% chất thải rắn sinh hoạt, nhưng chỉ có khoảng từ 11 – 12% trong số đó được xử lý tái chế. Số còn lại chủ yếu được chôn lấp, đốt và thải ra ngoài môi trường. Vậy đâu là giải pháp để xử lý rác thải nhựa thông minh và hiệu quả.
After years of largely neglecting the buildup of plastic waste in Earth’s environment, the U.N. Environment Assembly will meet in February and March in the hopes of drafting the first international treaty controlling global plastics pollution.
Discarded plastic is currently killing marine life, threatening food security, contributing to climate change, damaging economies, and dissolving into microplastics that contaminate land, water, the atmosphere and even the human bloodstream.
The U.N. parties will debate how comprehensive the treaty they write will be: Should it, for example, protect just the oceans or the whole planet? Should it focus mainly on reuse/recycling, or control plastics manufacture and every step of the supply chain and waste stream?
The U.S. has changed its position from opposition to such a treaty under President Donald Trump, to support under President Joe Biden, but has yet to articulate exactly what it wants in an agreement. While environmental NGOs are pushing for a comprehensive treaty, plastics companies, who say they support regulation, likely will want to limit the treaty’s scope.
At the end of February, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) will tackle a challenging task: the creation of a landmark treaty to control plastic pollution worldwide. While most nations have agreed to participate, the scope and timing of such an agreement aren’t settled, with many countries, environmental NGOs, and the plastics industry expressing widely different ideas as to what should be included.
On January 1, China will no longer be accepting waste from other countries, with Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia likely to feel the brunt of the new policy
Although the three countries have taken steps to deal with mounting trash, corruption and weak policies could doom them to remain buried in refuse
A river canal in Ho Chi Minh City choked by mostly plastic waste. Photo: Sen Nguyen
China, which used to be the world’s salvage king, is shutting its door to all waste imports starting the first day of the new year. The recent announcement triggered the same kind of anxiety among waste-exporting countries as in 2018, when China enacted its “Operation National Sword” policy, which banned the import of 24 types of solid waste, including plastic waste.
The 2018 policy switch caused the world’s major waste-exporting countries – Europe, Britain, the US and Australia – to scramble for alternative destinations, including
nations like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, which quickly became overwhelmed by the volume of refuse they received. Soon after, these countries began to impose their own bans and restrictions on waste imports.
With China’s latest announcement about a blanket waste ban, concerns have been raised about the effects this might have on Southeast Asian countries, where limited waste-management capacities are common.
Plastic pollution plagues Southeast Asia amid Covid-19 lockdowns
, which borders China and was one of the countries most affected by Beijing’s 2018 waste policy, might not be ready for more imported waste. According to a national report released last month, various types of solid waste imported for manufacturing do not only not meet the national technical standard in regards to
but also put more pressure on waste-management services in the country.
Meanwhile, most of the domestically made solid waste processing equipment is unsynchronized, incomplete and not yet common in the country – going by the National Environmental Status Report in 2019 issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. No specific national guidelines exist on what technology to use to treat municipal solid waste.
Since 2018, the Vietnamese government has kept a tight rein of its scrap imports through various policies, including amending the country’s technical standard to ensure only quality scrap is allowed in and cracking down on illegal shipments of thousands of containers of paper, plastic and metal scrap. Vietnam imported 9.2 million tons of scrap in the same year, a 14 per cent year-on-year increase, according to Vietnam customs statistics.
Stretch of road laid at DEEP C Industrial Zone in Hai Phong.
Ambassador of Belgium to Vietnam, H.E. Paul Jansen, attended the inauguration of the first asphalt road using recycled plastics on October 1 in the northern city of Hai Phong, together with representatives from the Hai Phong People’s Committee and related departments.
Dow and DEEP C Industrial Zones completed the 200-meter section of road enhanced with recycled plastics at the DEEP C Industrial Zone in the city. The project is a collaborative effort between Dow and DEEP C to provide innovative solutions to address plastics waste and advance a circular economy in Vietnam. Tiếp tục đọc “Asphalt road using recycled plastics laid”→
Phong trào “chống rác thải nhựa” ngày càng nở rộ khắp tỉnh Đắk Lắk bằng rất nhiều sáng kiến khác nhau.
Tại trường tiểu học Hoàng Việt (TP Buôn Ma Thuột), với video clip dự án rất sinh động đáng yêu mang tên “Phân loại rác thải-hành động nhỏ, ý nghĩa lớn”, đội “Voi rừng” gồm 4 học sinh nhỏ đã vinh dự được Ban tổ chức Phong trào trẻ em toàn thế giới Design for change gửigiấy mời sang Roma-Ý dự sự kiện “Kiến tạo để thay đổi” vào cuối tháng 11/2019.
Gần như toàn bộ núi rác nghìn tấn đổ xuống vườn dân ở thung lũng
Bằng thiết bị ghi hình từ trên cao, phóng viên Tuổi Trẻ Online ghi nhận không phải một phần bãi tập trung rác của TP Đà Lạt (bãi rác Cam Ly, P.5, Đà Lạt) mà gần như toàn bộ khu tập trung rác đổ xuống vườn dân.
Núi rác sạt một đường dài từ đỉnh xuống thung lũng, nơi có vườn hoa của dân trông như suối rác.
Ghi nhận mỗi ngày có khoảng 200 tấn rác đổ về bãi rác Cam Ly. Như vậy lượng rác đổ xuống vườn dân lên đến hàng ngàn tấn rác.
HÀ NỘI — Villages across the country have benefited from the country’s economic development, however, many do not have measures in place to deal with environmental protection.
The village of Trát Cầu in Hà Nội, which produces blankets, bed sheets and pillows, is a typical example.
Nguyễn Quang Thà, chairman of the Trát Cầu Traditional Villages Association, told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that over the past 20 years, more and more foreign enterprises have invested in the village.
Now about 30 enterprises from Japan and South Korea are working there.
Trash dumped near the parked boats in the central province of Thanh Hoa. Photo by Nguyen Viet Hung.
Vietnam should strive for zero disposable plastic use in urban stores, markets and supermarkets by 2021, the PM says.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that plastic waste is a global problem. “Every year, the amount of plastic waste emitted by humans is enough to cover four times the surface area of the earth, including 13 million tons of plastic waste floating on the oceans.”
Plastic waste from Australia in Port Klang, Malaysia. Malaysia says it will send back some 3,300 tons of nonrecyclable plastic waste to countries including the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia. AP Photo/Vincent Thian