Media exhibition raises awareness on reducing plastic waste

January 12, 2022 | 11:23
To further combat the vast amount of plastic waste that Vietnam is dealing with, a group of national and overseas organisations has launched a media exhibition as a crucial cornerstone of its combined communication campaign to raise awareness and move customers and businesses alike to reduce plastic waste and use eco-friendly alternatives.
An art installation depicting a river’s upstream aims to illustrate the amount of plastic waste that one household uses in two weeks
An art installation depicting a river’s upstream aims to illustrate the amount of plastic waste that one household uses in two weeks

On January 7, the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) and accompanying partners organised an exhibition on reducing plastic waste at local sports and outdoor dealer Decathlon.

The exhibition is one of the activities of ISPONRE’s communication campaign Join Hands to Reduce Plastic Waste, under the Alliance of Retailers to Reduce Single-use Plastic Bags, in cooperation with its partners the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Vietnam, the Packaging Recycling Organization Vietnam, the European Union and the German government, the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, the National Plastic Action Partnership, Vietnam Business Alliance for Environment, and The Asia Foundation.

The idea of ​​​​implementing the exhibition was formed after a consultation meeting on the communication plan of the Alliance of Retailers to Reduce Single-use Plastic Bags by ISPONRE, in collaboration with the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade and participating retailers held on November 26.

The art exhibition is arranged as a model of a river, with its upstream heavily polluted with plastic waste.

Throughout the river installation, eight images showcase the tremendous impact that inadvertent human behaviour can have on the environment. In addition, below the photos, short texts present further data reflecting the problem of environmental pollution that was compiled and selected from the reports provided by ISPONRE. Visitors were surprised by the amount of plastic waste used by a household in two weeks.

In the centre of the installation, images of preschool children speak out against the rampant use of plastic products and bags, while the back of the installation, representing the downstream of the river, displays an image of a cleaner, greener world as the children want.

The downstream part of the river installation presents the clean, green world that children wish for
The downstream part of the river installation presents the clean, green world that children wish for

Nguyen Trung Thang, deputy director of ISPONRE said, “Since the Alliance of Retailers to Reduce Single-use Plastic Bags was formed in early 2021, the participants have regularly held meetings to discuss action programmes and develop communication campaigns to be deployed simultaneously in the supermarkets and shops in Hanoi. This exhibition is one example. We hope that through the exhibition, viewers will have a better understanding of the discussed issues and will change their behaviour to limit single-use plastic waste.”

“Additionally, the exhibition is also an opportunity for the parties to announce an action plan for the coming time, creating synchronisation and consistency in communication campaigns, thereby improving the effectiveness of the programme,” said Thang.

Doan Binh Duong, store manager at Decathlon Vietnam, said that since starting operations in 2019, Decathlon always encouraged customers to prepare their own shopping bags when coming to the store and thus replace plastic bags with recyclable bag types.

“But this regulation was initially met with stiff opposition from customers, especially those who were not used to using recycled bags. However, we remained steadfast in our mission to reduce plastic bags in our business. I am now looking forward to the companionship with other retailers in the alliance to convince customers to reduce plastic bag consumption, turning this habit into a lifestyle and responsibility, not only for businesses but also consumers,” Duong said.

Besides Decathlon, the Alliance of Retailers to Reduce Single-use Plastic Bags currently has 15 members and includes Big C, Mega Market, Co.op Mart, Lotte Mart, AEON, BRG Retail, Annam Gourmet Market, Long Binh, Fuji Mart, and Lan Chi Mart.

The alliance’s endeavour is one of four pilot projects within the framework of the project Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solution for Marine Waste, funded by the European Union and the German government, and executed by German GIZ and French Expertise France in Vietnam.

The exhibition will be held at the Decathlon Store at Vincom Mega Mall Royal City in Hanoi from January 7 to 16.

January 14 marks the official launch, as well as the signing ceremony, of the Cooperation Agreement of the Alliance of Retailers to Reduce Single-use Plastic Bags, contributing to further strengthening communication efforts to raise customer awareness to reduce plastic waste. The event will be communicated directly on the Plastic Alliance's fanpage.

The establishment of the alliance is the first initiative to bring together and help retailers to implement practical, concrete, and timely actions and solutions for the environment and the well-being of their customers within the sustainable development of Vietnam.

By Kim Minh

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