Binh Dinh Sets Precedent with First-Ever Plastic Waste Rules for Fishing Vessels

March 13, 2024

Members of the Collection Team and fishermen are removing plastic waste from fishing vessels and bringing it ashore.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Binh Dinh Province issued Decision 89/QD-SNN on February 28, 2024 to regulate plastic waste on fishing vessels, establishing a leadership position in the management of plastic waste from fishing activities.

This regulation targets fishing vessels of 15 meters or longer at Quy Nhon, De Gi, and Tam Quan fishing ports, requiring them to collect and declare the plastic waste brought onboard in each fishing trip while 12-15 meter fishing vessels are encouraged to participate. In addition, the Decision also outlines the responsibilities of the Management Board of Quy Nhon Fishing Port, the Waste Collection Team, and the Sub-Department of Fisheries in collection, transportation, data management, and reporting of plastic waste from fishing vessels.

“The institutionalization of the management of plastic waste from fishing vessels will streamline the collection of plastic waste in the fishing industry, especially fishing vessels, in provinces and cities across the country,” states Mr. Tran Van Vinh, Deputy Director of the Binh Dinh Sub-Department of Fisheries. “Together with connecting stakeholders to create a value chain for plastic scrap and elaborate implementation instructions for fishing ports and fishing vessels, this measure will support the country’s goals of reducing marine plastic and promoting circular plastic industry.”

Previously, within the framework of the project "Scaling up integrated waste management models through empowering the informal sector and promoting Circular Economy" (DWP5C Phase 2) funded by the Norwegian Embassy, ​​UNDP has piloted the "Fishing vessels bringing onboard plastic waste back to shore" model at Quy Nhon Fishing Port. This circular initiative involves collecting, sorting and transferring plastic waste to the local Material Recovery Facility (MRF) for processing into input materials for recyclers. The model is scheduled to run until the end of 2024 and implemented with the coordination and support of the Binh Dinh Sub-Department of Fisheries, the Quy Nhon Fishing Port Management Board and the People's Committee of Quy Nhon City.  

During the early implementation phase, 200 fishing vessels at Quy Nhon Fishing Port signed and pledged commitment to "Fishing vessels bringing onboard plastic waste back to shore". After one month and a half, nearly 300kg of plastic bottles, beverage and food packaging were collected ashore. 

UNDP hands over the equipment and the warehouse to Quy Nhon Fishing Port Management Board.

To aid onboard collection, fishing vessels were provided with net bags with a 0.4 m3 capacity. The Quy Nhon Fishing Port Management Board Essential also received essential equipment for collection, transport and storage, including balers, trolleys, and bins. Additionally, a 100m2 warehouse has been built at the port and a Collection Team established to handle the collection, sorting, and storage of plastic waste before transfer to the MRF and recyclers.

The Collection Team is sorting plastic waste at the warehouse.

Mr. Patrick Haverman, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Viet Nam, highlights that the “Fishing vessels bringing onboard plastic waste back to shore“ model has been proven effective in promoting regulations, creating livelihoods for informal workers, and boosting the plastic value chain. This exemplifies that addressing ocean plastic pollution requires a multi-pronged approach and collective efforts from government agencies, informal labor, and recyclers.