Authorities on Co To Island off Quang Ninh Province, northern Vietnam announced a pilot program to ban visitors from bringing plastic products onto the island starting September in an attempt to spur sustainable tourism.
Speaking to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper last week, Nguyen Viet Dung, chairman of the Co To District People’s Committee, said the trial to forbid visitors from bringing plastic bottles, plastic bags, and materials carrying a risk of environmental pollution will last for several months.
Local authorities will then move toward the official implementation of this regulation since the island district's basic services are now completely prepared to accommodate the needs of tourists.
“All of the island district's services and facilities are now fully accessible, but many tourists still bring single-use plastic products, putting a great deal of environmental strain on Co To,” Dung said.
He added that in order to effectively implement this regulation, Co To District requires that travel companies and transportation businesses provide tourists with guidance at the time of ticket sales.
When visitors arrive at Van Don Wharf to travel to Co To Island, they will be asked to leave behind plastic bottles, plastic bags, and other items that could potentially cause environmental pollution.
Dung expressed his hope that island residents would take greater responsibility for their actions, actively participate in efforts to reduce plastic waste with targeted actions, alter their behavior, and refuse to use single-use plastic items in their daily life.
Before the pilot program to ban single-use plastic on Co To Island, Cu Lao Cham, or Cham Islands, a small archipelago off the coast of the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam, implemented a similar ‘green’ lifestyle without plastic bags, thanks to a campaign initiated in 2009.