The People’s Committee of Vung Tau City, the capital of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province famous for its beaches, issued a decision on Tuesday banning people from using shampoo and soap at public beach showers.
Nguyen Trong Thuy, head of the urban management office of Vung Tau, said on Tuesday afternoon that the local functional forces will erect signs warning people against bathing with shampoo and soap at beach showers.
Ward-level authorities will also have teams patrol the beaches.
The local functional forces will impose an administrative fine starting at VND300,000 (US$13) on violators based on regulations for wastewater discharge stipulated in a Vietnamese government decree issued on November 18, 2016.
Violators will also not be allowed to continue their shower upon the detection of shampoo use.
|A beachgoer washes with shampoo at a public beach shower in Vung Tau City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Vietnam, August 16, 2022. Photo: Dong Ha / Tuoi Tre|
“In order to protect the environment and our beaches, if any beachgoers see someone using soap at a public beach shower, tell them to stop,” Thuy said as he called on people to help.
“In addition, people can record videos [of anyone using soap at beach showers] and send them to functional forces for verification and sanction.”
Thuy added that the authorities will use footage from public cameras installed near beach showers for the verification process.
There are six public beach showers across Vung Tau, about 100km from Ho Chi Minh City.
Beachgoers can use these outdoor showers to wash at the beaches for free.
|Two women wash without shampoo next to a sign warning people against using soap at a public beach shower in Vung Tau City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Vietnam, August 16, 2022. Photo: Dong Ha / Tuoi Tre|
Before Tuesday’s prohibition, Vung Tau authorities installed signs recommending beachgoers save water and not use washing substances at public beach showers for environmental protection.
However, the recommendation received a tepid response from beachgoers, with a number of locals and tourists still using shampoo at beach showers, prompting the city administration to escalate it into a ban, according to Vung Tau deputy chairman Vu Hong Thuan.
Many Vung Tau residents showed support for the new order.
“It makes sense to just rinse the body with fresh water, there’s no need to use soap or shampoo,” said a local.
“This [washing with shampoo at beach showers] not only pollutes the beach but it's also a waste, for everyone will definitely take a bath again when they go home,” the local continued, adding that the proscription should have been in place sooner.