Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An, Viet Nam, December 2020 – “Plastic Action Day” saw three hundred participants from UNESCO, Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) Viet Nam, leaders from Quang Nam province and Hoi An City, scientists, youth and media to raise awareness and call for actions to reduce plastic waste and protect the environment. This event is a part of “Youth and Innovation for Ocean Initiative” Programmes, co-organised by UNESCO office in Viet Nam and Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An Biosphere Reserve, with kind support from the Coca-Cola Foundation.
Soon after being recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2009, Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An has become a pioneer in eliminating plastic bags and other single-use plastic movements. Despite this success, a massive amount of waste, the lack of awareness and inefficient trash management continue to present a plastic challenge for the Reserve. In this regard, UNESCO launched the programme of Youth Initiative for an Ocean without Plastic under the support of Coca-Cola Foundation to contribute to the efforts of fighting plastic pollution in Hoi An. The “Plastic Action Day” held in December 2020 in Hoi An was one of the interventions under the Youth Initiative for an Ocean without Plastic Programme. The participation of top leaders of the city and province illustrated high commitments for a greener Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An Biosphere Reserve.
All departments, organisations, businesses and individuals must take practical actions to protect the environment of the city landscape and marine. Let’s be a part of the environmental protection movement. We need to increase our awareness, promote good practices. We need to classify the trash, clean sea and islands. No littering, especially plastic bags on the beach, in public places. We must continue to develop plans and solutions for the city’s waste management. It requires scientific research and technology development to turn waste into natural resources, serving daily life such as organic fertilisers, recycled building materials and energy production. We need to strengthen national and international cooperation to mobilise the support to address a waste problem in Hoi An
The fight against waste is not just a matter for the government, but all society. And we know that our best allies in society are the young people with their passion for change and their energy for action. That is why under the framework of the Youth and Innovation for Ocean Initiative, this Plastic Action Day event demonstrates UNESCO’s efforts to reduce plastic waste in Viet Nam by mobilising youth participation in an awareness-raising and action campaign, engaging the community to address plastic waste-related issues. This year, the Plastic Action Day is even more special as it takes place on the 21st anniversary of UNESCO’s recognition of Hoi An Ancient Town as World Heritage. It links to what we do here today as the purpose of the designation is to ensure that future generations experience the beauty and culture of Hoi An. Together, let us each see what we can do in our own lives to support this.
With this spirit, the over three hundred participants rolled up their sleeves and cleaned Cua Dai beach together. A bicycle parade coloured Hoi An’s streets with blue and green slogans, drawing attention from citizens and raising their awareness of plastic waste reduction and environment protection. Sailing in environmental-friendly basket boats, eager participants also gathered trash from the nearby Cam Thanh Nipa Palm Forest River.
Besides this “Plastic Action Day”, the Youth Innovate for Ocean Initiative has also organised a competition calling for ideas to solve plastic waste issues in Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An with the most outstanding proposals piloted to provide innovative solutions for the fight against plastic waste.