This is a common sight in Viet Nam, especially in the countryside. Like a magnet, a small trash dump becomes a large one. Let’s take a partial inventory of the items in this disgusting pile of garbage, shall we?
—lots of plastic bags (it can take up to 1,000 years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill; since they never break down completely, they turn into microplastics that continue to pollute the environment);
—styrofoam containers (these are non-biodegradable and non-recyclable; they can take up to 500 years to decompose)
—a tire (can be recycled; take between 50-80 years to break down in a landfill)
—face masks (a sign of the pandemic times)
It will continue to grow until one day, god willing, the local government decides to collect everything and put it in a landfill. That’s obviously not the solution to this nationwide problem but it’s preferable to roadside garbage dumps.
Viet Nam must move quickly to create a circular economy that produces little to no waste. Environmental protection is a collective effort, the job of the government and the people. As I mentioned in a recent LinkedIn comment, the clock is ticking and the tipping point is on the horizon.
Shalom (שלום), MAA