About 8 million metric tons of plastic are discarded into the ocean annually (Jambeck, et al. 2015), the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic every minute (World Economic Forum 2016). Over half of land-based plastic-waste leakage originates in five Asian countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. This corresponds to the substantial increase in the overall use of plastic in these fast-growing emerging markets, a trend correlated primarily with decreasing poverty, growing incomes and rising consumption coupled with underdeveloped waste-management systems (UN Ocean Conservancy 2017).
In Vietnam specifically, the levels of domestic waste (especially plastic) are growing rapidly due to urbanization coupled with high economic and population growth. UN Environment reports that up to 730,000 tons of marine litter are disposed by Vietnam in the ocean (accounting for 6% of global waste), of which 80% is inland plastic waste. This means Vietnam is in fourth place globally in terms of marine litter.
Recently, the Government of Vietnam has begun to pay attention to the need to reduce plastic waste, especially single-use-plastics, developing the National Action Plan on Marine Litter by 2050. In 2019, a national anti-plastic-waste campaign was launched by the Prime Minister on World Ocean Day (June 8) with the target of eliminating single-use-plastic nationwide by 2025.
For its part, joining the collective UN #BeatPlasticPollution initiatives in Vietnam, UNESCO has provided assistance to plastic reduction and management by promoting the roles of UNESCO designated sites in sustainable development throughout in the country. UNESCO and Coca Cola Foundation are working closely with other partners to implement the project “Youth for Zero Waste Future”. The project expected to (i) Promote youth-centered initiatives on reuse, reduce and recycle of plastic waste, towards a plastic-free in Vietnam; (ii) Awareness-raising on the core issues related to plastic/solid waste through long-term youth-driven public campaigns and educational activities in UNESCO designated sites.
UNESCO Hanoi is seeking for an institution/company to implement communication activities of projects from May 2020.
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