Authorities in Halong Bay Bans Plastic on Tourist Boats

Environment, Vietnam, Halong Bay, waste treatment

(Picture: uniquehalongbay.com)

Since August 1st, cruise companies in Halong Bay are banning all single-use plastic to help protect the environment. A necessary step as cleaning companies on average collect over six tonnes of rubbish each day.

It is becoming a routine. According to Ha Long Bay Management Board, every single day two local companies, Quang Ninh Park Construction JSC and Phuc Thanh Company collected over six tonnes of rubbish floating around in the bay. Most of the collected garbage is foam boxes, plastic bags and plastic bottles.

In order to preserve the environment, Ha Long Bay Management Board signed an agreement with 15 boat operators in the bay. Since August 1st, these 15 operators involved in tourist boats, kayak and high-speed boats, are banning single-use plastic by refusing to use plastic bags and bottles. All agencies need to work together but first, they have to start with the service providers. According to Pham Dinh Huynh, deputy head of the Management Board, the move will help ending one specific source of pollution. “Previously 5,000 bottles and 5,000 wet napkins were given to tourists each day,” explained to Vietnamese media Pham Dinh Huynh.

The small plastic bottles will be replaced with large water bottles and tourists will be given a cup made from environmentally-friendly materials. The providers will start saying no to plastic products to better protect Ha Long Bay according to local newspaper Dan Tri. Ha Long Bay Management Company hopes to involve more players but this will be a long-term task due to the high number of operators.

Service providers will need to be more diligent in sorting out waste for recycling. Boats should also be partially equipped with treatment systems. Moreover, efforts are also being made to educate fishing families and supply them with more environmentally friend daily-use items.