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​Foreign diplomatic missions in Ho Chi Minh City commit to combat plastic pollution

Wednesday, June 06, 2018, 15:00 GMT+7
​Foreign diplomatic missions in Ho Chi Minh City commit to combat plastic pollution
Representatives of foreign diplomatic missions in Ho Chi Minh City are seen at the signing event of the code of conduct on combating plastic pollution at the Consulate General of Canada in Ho Chi Minh City on June 5, 2018. Photo: Consulate General of Canada

More than 14 members of foreign diplomatic missions in Ho Chi Minh City, including consuls general and honorary consuls general, committed Tuesday to joint efforts to tackle plastic pollution.

The diplomats signed a code of conduct on fighting against plastic pollution as part of the advocacy initiated by the Canadian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, on the occasion of the World Environment Day (June 5).

The signing consists of signatures of representatives from Canada, Cambodia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Switzerland, Laos, Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK, the U.S., Chile, Mexico, among others, the Canadian Consulate said in a press release the same day.

By signing the code of conduct on combating plastic pollution, the foreign consuls general committed to minimizing their plastic waste by improving their internal practices, engaging their staff on the issue as well as encouraging their partners to adopt low-or no-plastic waste-emitting options.

“We acknowledge our collective responsibility as international partners in Vietnam to work with some urgency as change agents to reduce plastic pollution and raise awareness about its negative effects on humans, animals and the environment,” the document reads.

The committed actions include refusing to buy or use disposable plastic water bottles in their offices, and endeavoring to find alternatives to plastic for the meetings and events they organize.

They also promised to undertake an assessment of their current office practices and their impact on the amount of plastic waste generated, and institute operational changes to minimize plastic waste footprint.

The other things are to engage employees on the need to reduce our plastic waste, and inform them how they can help refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics at the household level.

They will encourage all of their partners including government, project, institutional, suppliers and service providers to adopt low-or no plastic waste-emitting options wherever and whenever possible.

A photo capturing the code of conduct on combating plastic pollution in Vietnam posted on the verified Facebook page of the Consulate General of Canada.
A photo capturing the code of conduct on combating plastic pollution in Vietnam posted on the verified Facebook page of the Consulate General of Canada

In his remarks at the signing, Canadian Consul General Kyle Nunas said that during the course of the event, 30 million plastic bags will have been used around the world, emphasizing that 86 percent of plastic is used once and then discarded.

The consul general also mentioned that Vietnam is reportedly among the top five source countries for the roughly eight million tons of plastic that ends up in the world’s oceans each year, but that the issue is not limited to Vietnam.

Trash envelopes a once green mangrove swamp at a coastline area near Hau Loc District, in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Trash envelopes a once green mangrove swamp at a coastline area near Hau Loc District, in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa. Photo: Tuoi Tre

All countries, including Canada, need to step up efforts to combat plastic pollution, he insisted.

Nunas stated that Canada will use its presidency of the G7 to champion a proposed G7 Plastics Charter to take action on plastics throughout their lifecycle and reduce marine litter.

Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News

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