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Bangkok - 06 Oct 2021

News Number: G/35/2021

Da Nang City, Viet Nam takes action on plastic pollution with ESCAP support

Photo credit: Closing the Loop photo gallery

Every year, Da Nang City emits 1,087 tons of plastic pollution into the ocean - the equivalent of over four million plastic bags per week or two plastic bags a day per resident. In response, the city has launched an Action Plan to Manage Marine Plastic Litter in Da Nang City by 2025, with a Vision Towards 2030, built on the findings from a new baseline report on the current situation. This report was developed by ESCAP and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE) of Da Nang City.

The city is also rolling out a plastic pollution monitoring system using remote sensing and satellite image interpretation with artificial intelligence, a tool designed through the Closing the Loop project in collaboration with the University of Da Nang and Japan Space Systems.

"The battle against plastic pollution is ultimately about putting people and nature at the forefront of development,” said Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP. “But it is also about showing leadership, about embracing technologies to help track and trace sources and about the courage to implement ambitious policies that can turn the tide on our mounting urban waste crisis."

To Van Hung, Director of DONRE, emphasized the city’s commitment to work towards global goals. “Da Nang City will continue to make efforts and coordinate with national and international organizations to effectively mobilize the participation of all organizations and communities. The people of the city aim to minimize the amount of plastic waste, contributing to build an Environmental City!”

Da Nang is one of four pilot cities in Closing the Loop, a project implemented by ESCAP and supported by the Government of Japan that finds innovative solutions to measure, monitor and manage plastic pollution. On 5 October 2021, at the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) 2021 World Congress, Da Nang was the first of the project cities and first in Viet Nam to present a detailed baseline report that maps plastic pollution and pinpoints the source of the litter.

The report revealed that more than half of the marine litter is from lightweight plastics that have low value for recyclers and are easily transported to the ocean by wind and rivers. This makes phasing out plastic bags and other soft plastic films a priority for the city. The detailed Action Plan outlines goals to this end, such as shifting at least 80 per cent of all food and beverage businesses away from single-use products by 2030. The city also plans to upgrade collection infrastructure and adopt a management model that supports innovation in producing alternative products and transitioning towards a circular economy and green growth.

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