As published in Viet Nam News on 9 February 2021
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese and foreign photographers will be able to enter their photos on environmental protection in a contest launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Tạp chí Nghề Nghiệp và Cuộc Sống (Career & Life) magazine.
The photo contest, entitled Câu Chuyện Rác Nhựa (Story of Plastic Waste), aims to increase community awareness about environmental protection.
“Currently, Việt Nam is one of the top five countries in the world discharging the most plastic waste into the ocean,” said Chu Thị Hà, editor-in-chief of the Career & Life magazine.
“We hope that this photo contest will contribute to raising awareness of the management of plastic waste and somewhat limiting the amount of plastic waste discharged to the environment.”
The submitted photos must be taken from January 1 to April 30 in the coastal provinces of Việt Nam. Entrants are not allowed to use Photoshop to change the content and nature of their pictures.
The contest organisation board encourages photos from the southern provinces of Bình Dương and Bình Thuận, the central areas Bình Định and Đà Nẵng, and northern province of Quảng Ninh.
The photos should focus on the spread of waste, which is not properly disposed of in Việt Nam; plastic waste in the ocean; the impact of plastic waste on the environment and ecosystem and to people, and waste treatment.
Contestants can register at cuocthianh.mediamaxvietnam.vn until May 5.
The organisation board is calling on both Vietnamese and foreigners living in Việt Nam above 18 years old who are concerned about plastic waste to participate in the contest. Each of them can send 20 photos.
Top prizes will be announced in the magazine and Facebook Ocean or Plastic at the end of June. The top prizes will be awarded cash worth VNĐ1 million to VNĐ5 million (US$43 to 220).
Although there are no official statistics on the amount and varieties of plastic in the Vietnamese sea and islands, plastic waste is easy to see in Vietnamese waters, with the country’s 112 estuaries the main gateways of plastic to the ocean.
Numbers from Việt Nam’s Association of Plastic illustrate the scale of the problem. In 1990, each Vietnamese consumed 3.8kg of plastic per year, but 25 years later, the figure hit 41kg.
As many as 1,000 plastic bags are used each minute but only 27 per cent of them are treated and recycled.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment estimated that about 80 tonnes of plastic waste and bags are thrown away every day in Hà Nội and HCM City combined.
On the positive side, Việt Nam has taken efforts to manage imported plastic scrap and monitor plastic production and consumption. — VNS