A representative from Ho Chi Minh City’s largest supermarket network, Saigon Co.op, recently announced that its retail network, which includes Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food, and Co.op Smiles, will end the sale and use of plastic straws from May.
It will also remove plastic straws attached to products such as milk and soft drinks and will ask food stores in its supermarkets to minimize the use of plastic straws.
Saigon Co.op is the first retail network in Vietnam to end the sale and use of plastic straws, to introduce a new environmental protection campaign through changing consumer behavior at modern retail channels.
It will soon sell more environmentally-friendly straws, such as those made from paper or rice. Consumers also have a choice of inox or glass straws for their personal use at home. Its supermarkets will also use banana leaves to package food.
Figures show that Vietnam produces around 18,000 metric tons of plastic waste a day; a situation that is having a devastating impact on the environment.
Last August, a group of AccorHotels in central Vietnam, including Grand Mercure Danang, Premier Village Danang Resort, Novotel Danang Premier Han River, Pullman Hotels & Resorts, and M Gallery Hoi An replaced plastic straws with eco-friendly paper straws.
According to nationalgeographic.com, 8 million tons of plastic flows into the ocean every year, and they comprise a mere 0.025 per cent.
But that hasn’t stopped straws from becoming the major focus of recent environmental campaigns. This is in part because; for most people, a straw is something you can easily do without; so eliminating plastic straw use doesn’t require any drastic change in behavior but makes a difference, albeit small.
Major food and beverage corporations around the world have also announced they will cease using plastic straws shortly. Starbucks plans to phase them out by 2020. McDonald’s recently announced it will ban plastic straws at its UK and Ireland restaurants. Bon Appétit Management, a food service company with 1,000 US locations, announced last May it will phase out these straws, while Alaska Airlines will be one of the first carriers to phase out plastic straws and stirrers.
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