Halong Bay taking first steps to a plastic-free future

As from this August 2019 the Halong Bay Management Board, in cooperation with multiple service providers, will pilot a ban on plastic products on tourist boats. While this is just the start of a long journey for curbing plastic use in the beautiful bay, we’re thrilled that local authorities have shifted towards an eco-friendly mindset and are determined to protect this important environment.

The awe-inspiring natural landscape, largely uninhabited, has been facing the increasing threat of plastic waste in its otherwise pristine emerald waters. Millions of tourists flock to the UNESCO World Heritage Site each year, and it’s no surprise that the circa 5,000 plastic bottles and 5,000 wet napkins that get handed out to tourists everyday, leave their mark.

The Halong Bay Management Board is not only hoping to implement a long-term ban on the use of plastics, but is taking further steps to uphold the world-renowned beauty of this national treasure. The board is setting goals to replace single-use products like plastic straws, bottles and cups, with environmentally-friendly alternatives, such as large containers and glass for water and reusable cloth napkins. In the future, service providers will be required to separate and categorize their waste from activities and services before sending it to treatment systems. The Management Board has also cooperated with organizations to conduct research to support local fishing communities and produce environmentally-friendly products such as paper bags, organic shampoo, shower gel, etc., for those providing services on the bay.

While Halong Bay’s plastic-free objective cannot be achieved overnight, we believe the planned measures are a positive and vital step in the right direction, with authorities working towards safeguarding their tourist attractions and natural heritage sites. It’s incredibly exciting for us when we see that local authorities and service providers have growing awareness of the environmental impacts of tourism and collaborate to foster sustainable travel.

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My Hanh

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