Living in Vietnam is pretty great. The food is wicked, the people couldn’t be more helpful and the countryside is some of the best in the world. Other than the insane traffic laws, there’s only one thing that gets me going: the mad, excessive use of plastic. Everything you buy is double/triple/quadruple wrapped in plastic bags. It’s absolutely mental! It’s crazy not only how unnecessary so much of the plastic is, but it’s also seriously messed up where it all ends up.
Vietnam’s Plastic Use
Every year Vietnam makes around 13 million tonnes of plastic rubbish. That makes it number 17 on the global list. If we compare how much plastic was used 30 years, people now use 12 times more per year than back then. From 3.8kg up to a ridiculous 41kg. Lots of people think it’s impossible to reduce how much plastic we use. But seriously, if we’ve only been doing it for a few decades or so, what’s the big deal?
Vietnam’s Plastic Contribution
According to a recent survey by The Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, Vietnam is one of 5 countries that contributes a whopping 60% of all plastic pollution in the oceans. If you’ve read our story on the website then you’ll know that this ocean plastic pollution was the reason we started. We feel pretty ruddy serious about!
Like we’ve said before, there are definitely bigger things that need to change. At the end of the day, these types of change need to come from governments. But as individuals, we can also start to make a serious impact on making the world a better, cleaner place. As the old Vietnamese saying says, ‘góp gió thành bão’: each small wind comes together to make a storm.