Polystyrene banned and must be replaced in Halong Bay
On July 30, 2016, The People’s Committee of Quang Ninh province issued a regulation on the use of polystyrene for any floating construction and requested a replacement with composite and plastic durable materials.
Previously on June, The Au Co cooperated with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to organize a campaign to clean up the bay in Vung Ha area. The trash collected was categorized in which polystyrene made up the most.
Within the bay, polystyrene is the most common material which is used to make house and raft float. This is an inexpensive and easy to buy material but very dangerous, which is classified as a carcinogenic by the Environmental Protection Agency that can cause cancer in human tissue. It is also the 5th most hazardous production process with research identifying 57 chemical byproducts that are released during the combustion stage. A separate study has shown that juvenile fish over time exposed to polystyrene start preferring it to their natural food source making them slower, dumber and more susceptible to predators.
Realizing the negative impact of polystyrene on environment, The Au Co and IUCN submitted the results of the latest cleanup day to Ocean Conservancy – a nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in Washington D.C – and also organized the 3rd Leadership Committee meeting of the Ha Long-Cat Ba Alliance, where solid waste in the bay’s waters was top of the agenda.
At the meeting, the issue of the growing polystyrene menace was discussed and potential solutions were brainstormed. As a result, the Ha Long City People’s Committee issued the law that the use of polystyrene will be limited and replaced with composite and plastic durable materials.
With the great commitment to sustainable tourism, The Au Co will continue to launch other campaigns to increase local people’s awareness and contribute to a long-lasting unique beauty of Halong Bay – Heritage site of the world.
To see the full version of the regulation, click here.