Indochina Junk, a leading company in promoting sustainable tourism in Halong Bay, and also the very first company to organize the program called “For A Green Halong Bay”, announced that they will launch an anti-plastic campaign this December.
As a part of the “For A Green Halong Bay” project, the anti-plastic campaign starts from this December until the end of 2019. The aim is for an urgent action plan, to “refuse the straw if you do not really need it” and “say no to plastic bags” in order to keep our sea plastic free. Indochina Junk will hand out glass or paper straws instead of plastic to help their customers’ response to an environment during a cruise over Halong Bay with the company.
Straws are in the top 10 items found in coastal clean-ups, so plastic straws need to be banned in our public spaces. As many researchers have found out, straws do not biodegrade naturally in the environment, and they are nearly impossible to recycle because they are so light and small. They also release toxic chemicals in the air, with most ending up into ground and hanging around for about 300-400 years. The others end up in the oceans by wind or through the drain and break down into smaller pieces called microplastics, which are even more dangerous for marine life.
According to researchers, 70% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have some amount of plastic in their system. As an example, one of most viewed video (more than 33 million times) on YouTube shows a sea turtle suffering as rescuers struggle to remove a straw from its nose.
Much more worrying, according to many studies, is that microplastics are entering our marine foods (fish and shellfish), land foods (found in chicken, bee, honey), 90% of sea salt, bottled water, indoor dirt, and ultimately our own body. So, yes, we are eating millions of microplastics in a way we do not even realize and without knowing how much harm they actually do.
“Straws are something unnecessary, anyone can give them up easily without having it affect their life,” said Mr. Leora Havin. Grace Carroll went on, “actually, I can drink without straws, it is unhealthy and harmful to the environment”. Together with customers’ encouragement, the company believes it will save up to 200 straws per day, or over 73,000 straws per year.
It is a time to give Halong the attention and support about the environment that it deserves. Everyone can play a vital role in the conservation of Halong Bay environment.