According to information from the Department of Culture, Information, and Tourism of Coto District, after one year of implementing the pilot project “Coto Island without Plastic Waste” (Project 175), the awareness, habits, and behaviors of residents and tourists in protecting the marine environment have seen significant changes. The marine environment has positively transformed, and certain species such as turtles, seals, and seabirds have returned to the island for habitation.
In order to further enhance the effectiveness of this project, the People’s Committee of Coto District will continue to implement Phase 2 of the project, which includes the mandatory requirement that all passengers do not bring single-use plastic bags and items made of plastic to the island.
Starting from September 15, 2023, Coto District, Quang Ninh Province, requires all passengers not to bring single-use plastic bags and items made of plastic to the island in order to minimize plastic waste and reduce marine environmental pollution. At the same time, the People’s Committee of the district also requires that 100% of agencies, units, schools, markets, service businesses, transportation vessels for passengers and goods, fishing vessels, etc., within the jurisdiction of Coto District, do not use plastic bags, single-use plastic items (plastic containers, cups, straws, etc.), and materials that pose a risk to marine environmental pollution from the mentioned time onwards.
Also from September 15, at the ports on Coto Island, there will be two control teams to ensure that tourists do not bring single-use plastic bags, single-use plastic items, and materials that pose a risk of environmental pollution to the island. These control teams will ask tourists to gather their plastic bags and single-use plastic items into trash bins or storage devices located at the ports.
Statistics from Coto District show that the island district welcomes from 6,000 to 8,000 tourists annually. Prior to the implementation of the trial period without using plastic bags and single-use plastic items, during the peak tourist season, environmental companies had to collect a very large amount of waste, ranging from 15 to 17 tons per day, creating pressure and a burden on the environment of the island district, especially for non-biodegradable waste.
To effectively implement this project, the People’s Committee of Coto District has proposed that the Department of Transport, the Inland Waterway Port Authority of Quang Ninh, and the Inland Waterway Port Authority in Van Don – Coto coordinate in disseminating information to passenger and cargo transportation companies heading to Coto Island. They will inspect and require vehicle owners and passengers not to bring plastic bags and single-use plastic waste to Coto Island. Only departure orders will be issued when shipping companies comply with the regulations mentioned above.