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Ha Long Bay to ban plastic products on tourist vessels

Released at: 13:51, 26/07/2019

Ha Long Bay to ban plastic products on tourist vessels

Photo: Viet Tuan (VET)

Management Board fighting plastic waste to protect famed bay.

by Le Diem

The Ha Long Bay Management Board has worked with service providers to pilot a ban on plastic products on tourist boats starting from August 1.

The move is part of an anti-plastic waste campaign in the bay, with products such as straws, bottles, and bags no longer being used on tourist boats and high-speed boats.

Such products will be replaced by more environmentally-friendly alternatives. Large containers and glass will be used for water and cloth napkins handed out and collected after use.

There will be no longer some 5,000 plastic bottles and 5,000 wet napkins given to tourists each day, as previously, and pollution will be cut remarkably, according to Mr. Pham Dinh Huynh, Deputy Head of the Ha Long Bay Management Board.

Service providers are also required to classify their waste from activities and services before sending it to treatment systems.

The Management Board also cooperated with enterprises to conduct research to support fishing families to produce environmentally-friendly products for individuals and organizations providing services on the bay, such as paper bags, organic shampoo, and shower gel, etc.

Ha Long Bay has been marred by increasing volumes of rubbish in recent years. The Quang Ninh Park Construction JSC and the Phuc Thanh Company are responsible for collecting rubbish floating around the bay. Six or seven tonnes are collected each day but the bay is still tarnished by litter, mostly polystyrene boxes and plastic bags and bottles.

The Ha Long Bay Management Board is intensifying its control over sources of waste and has continued to call for more service providers to end the use of plastic bottles and bags.

Covering an area of 43,400 ha and with over 1,600 islands and islets, most of Ha Long Bay is uninhabited and unaffected by humans. The limestone in the bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments.

Swimming and kayaking are popular among visitors, as are visits to floating fishing villages, where the entire population lives and works. Villagers are mainly fisherfolk and ply the waters around their villages, selling fresh produce to the passing tourist trade. Abundant fresh local seafood is another delight.

Ha Long Bay has twice been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, in 1994 and 2000, and has also been named one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

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