Anti-Plastic Bag Measures proves not to be effective

Plastic bags are popular and indispensable items in daily activities in the country.

Although many measures to reduce using plastic bags have been under discussion yet it is not highly effective while plastic bags are more popular despite everybody knows  it causes harms to living environment.

One of measures is to impose high tax on the bags. The high tax rate of VND40,000 (US$1.8) per kg on plastic bags in 2013 was considered as one of drastic measures against plastic bag using.

On one hand, the measure has caused reaction among businesses and plastic bad producers as they said that  there should have been roadmap for them to switch to manufacturing different commodity, for example bio-degradable bags, or alternative products. Moreover, the authorities should lay out criteria for manufacturing environmental friendly bags before they begin to tax plastic bags.

On the other hand, companies which produce bio-degradable bags admitted that they hardly maintained long term manufacturing as  production expense is so high while customers still prefer cheap plastic bags to cut down on expenditure. Production expense is around 20 -40 percent higher than environment unfriendly bags.

As measures to restrict plastic bags usage seem to fail or not to prove really effective, local authorities resorted to awareness-raising campaign which just improves people’s awareness of environment protection but not changes people’s habit of using plastic bags.

Experts said why the country’s leaders do not think about developing waste recycling  in general and plastic bag in particular. Recycling plastic bags will provide material for plastic production as enterprises must import plastic bead with high expense.

However, in reality, the government has not had any policy to recycling plastic bags to encourage giant investors to jump into.  Environmental exports said Vietnam should invest in recycling to restrict the harm of plastic bags.

By Minh Xuan - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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