Bamboo garbage bins in the shape of giant Goby fish have been placed along Da Nang’s long stretch of beach in an initiative by a group of foreigners living and working in the central city.

“Goby Open Day” took place on the morning of May 11, with a group of foreign and local volunteers launching the environmental protection project and placing the Goby fish bins on the beach at the junction of Nguyen Van Thoai and Vo Nguyen Giap Streets.

The Goby Project was born amid an environmental protection movement in the city, to cut waste and use natural friendly materials. Such efforts are being replicated throughout Asia.

There are two ways to view the meaning of the Goby garbage bins on the beaches. The first is the image of a fish swallowing a lot of different waste. Through the image of a Goby with a bulging stomach filled with waste and plastic bottles, people will be more aware of the seriousness and environmental impact of leaving plastic bottles on the beach. The second is the image of a friendly, kind-hearted Goby helping to protect the sea by collecting waste instead of leaving it scattered around to be then washed out to sea.

According to Mr. Nguyen Duc Vu, Head of the “Son Tra Peninsula Management Board and Da Nang Tourism Beaches”, Vietnam has a long coastline but plastic waste is a problem for the marine environment. Looking to doing something for the marine environment, Ms. Sarah Field, an English teacher in Da Nang, proposed the Goby project with the slogan “Feed Goby Plastic And Not Ocean!”. The management board immediately agreed and provided major assistance to get the project going.

On April 22, a group led by Ms. Field with the participation of Mr. Tyler Smith (teacher and deputy leader), Mr. Hoang Phuc Lam (officer and project advisor), Ms. Robynn Louw (teacher and project design architect), Mr. Chris McBrideo (painter and project designer), and student Nguyen Diem My (head of volunteers and logistics), together with volunteer students, embarked on implementing the project.

“Building the Goby fish is a meaningful activity that helps raise awareness among local people and visitors, while feeding Goby with plastic waste is a great opportunity for everyone to interact and work together for a better community and a cleaner environment,” said Mr. Vu.