Da Nang is the 6th largest city in Vietnam with more than one million of inhabitants. Its coastline, which stretches on 30 km, is a tourist attraction, popular for diving, water-skiing and fishing. Da Nang is one of the fastest growing cities in Vietnam, the tourism sector is a vital component of this development. This city develops a Sustainable City Development Project. The objective is to expand access of city residents, to improved drainage, wastewater & treatment services. Waste management is not included on the program.
However, there is no centralize system to recycling in the city. Citizen habits amplified by the tourism activity lead to find a lot of trashes in streets or beaches. All the wastes are normally collected by public services and landfilled. Nevertheless, some waste collectors pick up plastic in streets or directly in landfills and sells them to recycling agencies. These agencies are only in Saigon, so there is no local channel to treat and recycle the plastic.
In this context, we met three committed girls fighting against plastic pollution with Precious Plastic community: Alyona participated to the creation of Precious Plastic Da Nang with 3 others people. Linh is in charge of translation and communication. Tien is involved in the tourist awareness and clean up actions.
Precious Plastic Da Nang was created in December 2017, initiated by a French man. At the beginning, three foreigners developed the project with the wish to involved local people. Today, the organization is composed of lot of volunteers and 5 active members included Alyona, Linh & Tien (Precious Plastic Da Nang Facebook Page).
Precious Plastic Da Nang is part of the global Precious Plastic community (https://preciousplastic.com/). This dynamic, started in the Netherlands, involves hundreds of people (over 40k) working towards a solution to handle plastic. The goal is to share and to create tools that make it easier to start recycling plastic.
The first action of Precious Plastic Da Nang is education! The organization provides free lesson plans on recycling. Indeed, it is important for the team to educate the next generation about recycling and the positive impact that we can all have on our planet.
Precious Plastic mobilizes lot of volunteers through weekly clean up events. The goal is to clean beaches and to raise awareness on waste pollution. These events are also a communication tool to solicitate more and more volunteers thanks to social media.
Plastic Da Nang team set up a place with some recycling machines to boost plastic valorization. They use affordable materials to create these machines. It aims to reuse plastic to make basic objects. It is also a communication tool to demonstrate that plastic can be easily recycled. The team use advises from Precious Plastic community.
WHAT NOW ?
For Precious Plastic Da Nang, the next step is to involve more permanent residents of the city and to let them taking the lead of the organization. The goal is to ensure the viability of this project. For a sustainable dynamic, the team plan to keep working on existing actions and experimenting recycling machines.
The fight against plastic pollution starts all over the world. Precious Plastic is a local initiative, being part of a global community. Thinking global, acting local it is probably one of the best solutions to protect our planet!