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Vietnam commits to take action to control plastic waste in the sea

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Plastic waste accounts for 50-80 percent of ocean waste, and more than 80 percent of plastics waste originates from the mainland, while the rest is discharged directly in the sea.

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Plastic waste accounts for 50-80% of ocean waste

 

According to Do Thanh Bai from the Vietnam Industrial Environment Association, the current waste on the sea amounts to 94 percent of total plastics volume going to the marine environment and gathering on the ocean floor with the density of 70 kilograms of plastics per one square kilometer of seabed. 

It is estimated that there are 25.3-65 million tons of waste on the seabed over the globe. About 1.75 million tons of waste goes to the sea a year. 

The figure is calculated based on the volume of all kinds of waste on the sea, assuming that 55 percent is plastics waste.

Because of its structure (artificial synthetic polymers) plastics decompose very slowly. Scientists estimate that it takes a plastics debris hundreds or thousands of years to decompose fully in natural conditions. 

With such sustainable structure, when disintegrated, plastic pieces invade marine organisms, causing serious consequences to the marine ecosystem, directly affecting the life of plankton, fishes, sea turtles and sea birds.

Scientists are concerned about the threat to big animals such as sharks and whales. The toxins contained in plastic will be a danger to them. 

When plastic pieces enter food chains, they will affect many animal species, including humans.

Bai cited scientific reports as saying that 28 percent of total organisms and 55 percent of fish and mollusk collected from the East Sea area belonging to Indonesia have been found having plastics wastes in their intestines. 

These are all seafood species commonly used for Indonesian daily food.
 
There has been no similar research about Vietnam, but scientists believe that Vietnam’s volume of plastics waste going to the sea is similar to Indonesia’s. 

The aquatic creatures mentioned in Indonesian research are also species commonly used by Vietnamese.

In Vietnam, recent research found that plastic waste, including domestic land litter and marine waste, is polluting the marine environment in the sea areas of Quang Binh, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and HCMC.

Thanks to improved awareness and scientific development, there are many solutions to reduce the amount of plastic waste discharged into the sea.

Experts emphasize the need to build policies to control the amount of plastic waste because they serve as a platform to apply other measures. 

The multilateral international environment agreements are binding treaties, but they are only observed by countries ratifying the agreements. The effects of the agreements remain modest.

 

Source: VietNamNet

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