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Saigonese exchange e-waste for trees

Monday, June 17, 2019, 15:27 GMT+7
Saigonese exchange e-waste for trees
A woman (left) hands over a CPU she no longer uses to receive a plant. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

More than 1,000 unusable electronic devices were brought to an event dedicated to environmental protection in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday, where they were exchanged for plants and other environmentally friendly gifts.

The event, held on Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in District 1, was organized by Vietnam Recycles, a program run by the Vietnam Recycling Platform, in cooperation with Thai Ha Book Publishing House.

A woman with her son (right) choose a plant after they gave the organizing committee their electronic waste. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

A woman and her son choose a plant after they gave the organizing committee their electronic waste. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

Depending on the amount of e-waste they brought to the exchange, visitors were able to get one to two pots of succulent plants, which are easy to care for and require a small amount of water to stay fresh.

The plants are suitable for decorating a desk or study corner, and more importantly, they also absorb and eliminate electromagnetic radiations emitted from electronic devices such as computers, phones, and radios.

The plants were placed in eco-friendly pots made of sugar cane bagasse, which will biodegrade after 40 days.

Many parents took their children to the event to teach them how to recycle and sort e-waste, as well as helping them learn to lead a sustainable and environment-friendly lifestyle from a young age.

“Because I care about the environment, I usually keep electronic waste and sort it,” To Nghia, 23, a visitor at the event, said.

“It is very difficult to find a place to recycle this type of waste, so events like this are very important.”

The waste is sorted after being collected. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

The waste is sorted after being collected. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

According to Mai Thi Thu Hang, a representative from Vietnam Recycling Platform, this is not the first time her organization has organized such an ‘e-waste day,’ but the amount of electronic waste collected has gradually risen over the time.

In the first year of launching the initiative, the organization only collected 800 kilograms of e-waste, compared to the current volume of around 36 metric tons, Hang said, adding that this represents local people's increasing concern about e-waste pollution.

A man takes a photo of his potted succulents and a bamboo straw, which he received in exchange for e-waste. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

A man takes a photo of his potted succulents and a bamboo straw, which he received in exchange for e-waste. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam Recycling Platform is a consortium of leading producers of electrical and electronic equipment founded to reduce electronic waste, increase recycling and manage products' impacts on the environment and human health at their end of their life cycle.

The organization was established in 2015 by HP Company and Apple, and is still in its pilot phase, during which it only collects e-waste in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

The organization also intends to start collecting electronic waste at home. Every household only needs to prepare one big electronic device to recycle, or ten small devices such as phones, cameras, or music players for the organization staff to come and collect.

Participants take photo with organizing committee and slogans to protect the environment. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

Participants pose for a photo with the organizing committee and messages to protect the environment. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre
A woman (right) chooses a plant in exchange for her electronic waste on Nguyen Van Binh Street on June 15, 2019. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre
A woman (right) chooses a plant in exchange for her electronic waste on Nguyen Van Binh Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City on June 15, 2019. Photo: Thanh Yen / Tuoi Tre

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