Making news

Hanoi aims to create supermarket coalition to reduce single-use plastic bags

Hanoi is working on the formation and operation of a supermarket coalition to minimise plastic shopping bags, thus cutting plastic waste and protecting the environment.

The effort is part of an initiative conducted with support from the EU and the German Government.

According to Fanny Quertamp from Expertise France, the project is a chance for Vietnam to take specific action to cut plastic waste, and she expressed her hope that the project will receive the active engagement of supermarkets around the country.

According to a representative from Lotte Mart Ba Dinh, foreign customers strongly support the scheme and are willing to pay for environmentally-friendly shopping bags. Many Vietnamese customers, however, are not happy, so stronger communication campaigns are needed to raise public awareness.

A BigC representative said the scheme should be introduced at all supermarkets to ensure fairness and proposed legal regulations on reductions to plastic waste and single-use plastic bags.

In order to minimise the use of such bags, the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade held a working session with the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

According to the department, 140 out of 170 supermarkets and trade centres in Hanoi have switched from plastic shopping bags to bio-degradable bags and multi-use shopping bags.

The majority of facilities use food packaging materials made of bagasse and natural materials.

Meanwhile, many retail and distribution businesses have offered promotions to customers who use their own shopping bags.

The VinCommerce General Commercial Service JSC, the owner of VinMart and VinMart+, has been among the pioneers in encouraging green shopping habits by implementing the “Three green” programme - Green VinMart, Green Customers, and Green Suppliers - to protect the environment. It has 2,200 retail points around the country, including 850 in Hanoi.

Environmental experts, however, said the habit of using plastic bags continues among a large number of shoppers, especially at traditional markets./.