Launch of a campaign for plastic-free SEA Games

May 17, 2022

HANOI — The hashtags #Seagamesnoplastic and #Greensport are part of a campaign launched during the 31st Southeast Asian Games to raise awareness about environmental protection, according to Games organizers.

The campaign is run jointly by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Sports Administration of Việt Nam.

It aims to reduce single-use plastic products and nylon bags at meetings, training sites, matches and other sites for athletes, delegates and journalists, as well as at the biggest sporting event in the region.

The 3Rs rule – reduce, reuse and recycle – was promoted through campaign activities.

Media and social networks were used to spread the message of environmental protection through articles.

Specific bins have been designed and installed in stadiums and gymnasiums. The waste collected will be classified, recycled and treated in accordance with the regulations.

Various keepsakes like keychains and textbooks were made from recycled materials such as metal, fabric and wood.

The campaign sees the participation of volunteers who collect litter and carry out communication tasks in stadiums and sports venues. They also receive training, uniforms, documents and tools to help them.

Spectators are also guided to collect trash from stadiums and exchange it for gifts.

Eco-friendly water bottles, bags, boxes, cups, knives, spoons and forks will replace single-use plastic products during the Games.

In the localities hosting the events, there will be buses carrying the message of environmental protection throughout the Games.

SEA Games 31 themed “For a Stronger Southeast Asia” will be held in the capital and 11 neighboring provinces and cities from May 12 to 23.

It includes 40 sports with over 500 events and is expected to attract around 10,000 participants. The biennial event was originally scheduled for late 2021 but was delayed due to the pandemic.

Việt Nam aims to use only eco-friendly plastic bags and packaging in shopping malls and supermarkets by 2025, according to a project approved by Deputy Prime Minister Lê Văn Thành.

Other goals include collecting, reusing, recycling and processing 85% of plastic waste; halve the plastic waste dumped in the ocean; and 100% of resorts and hotels using no non-biodegradable plastic bags and single-use plastic products by 2025.

The project will gradually reduce the production and consumption of non-biodegradable plastic bags and single-use plastic products, while raising awareness of the harmful effects of single-use plastic items on the environment, ecosystem and human health.

It will campaign for producers and distributors of single-use, non-biodegradable plastic products to switch to environmentally friendly equivalents and encourage the development and application of advanced technologies in the management of plastic waste and the manufacture of environmentally friendly products.

The project will also create a network of local communicators to teach people how to properly classify, reuse and deal with plastic waste and litter in general, and integrate knowledge about single-use and non-biodegradable plastics into school curricula.

Việt Nam is the fourth marine plastic polluter in the world after China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Each year, the country dumps around 300,000 to 700,000 tonnes of plastic waste into the ocean, which accounts for 6% of global marine plastics.

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