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Eco-friendly alternatives sought after polystyrene banned in Ha Long Bay

Previously in June, Bhaya Group cooperated with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to organize a campaign to clean up the bay in Vung Ha area. During the clean-up, more polystyrene was collected than any other waste material.

Within the bay, polystyrene is frequently utilised for its buoyant properties and is the most common material used for making houses and rafts float. While polystyrene is preferred for its economic advantages, being both cheap and easy to purchase, it poses a significant risk to both humans and the environment.

Bhaya Cruises and IUCN corporation

Polystyrene has the potential to cause cancer cell growth in human tissue and, as such, is classified as carcinogenic by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is currently ranked as the fifth most hazardous production process with research identifying 57 chemical byproducts that are released during the combustion stage. A separate study that examined the effect of polystyrene exposure on juvenile fish concluded that, over time, the fish begin to show preference to polystyrene rather than their natural food source.  This exposure impair the fish during development, make them slower, less agile and more susceptible to predators.

Upon analysing the negative impact of polystyrene on the environment, Bhaya Group and IUCN submitted the results of the latest cleanup day to the Ocean Conservancy – a non-profit environmental advocacy group based in Washington D.C - and organized the 3rd Leadership Committee meeting of the Ha Long-Cat Ba Alliance, where solid waste in the bay’s waters topped the agenda.

At the meeting, the concerning issue of the growing polystyrene presence in Ha Long Bay was discussed and potential solutions were proposed. As a result, the Ha Long City People’s Committee issued a law in which the use of polystyrene will be limited and ultimately replaced by durable composite and plastic materials.

With great commitment to sustainable tourism, Bhaya Group will continue to launch campaigns in order to raise awareness of environmental problems in the area, and contribute to the conservation and preservation of Ha Long Bay and its unique beauty.

To see full version of the regulation, click here

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