Garbage and pizza

I love pia pastry - sweet cakes, outside are thin, tangy crust, inside there are salted eggs and smells of durian and green beans. I fell in love with it many years ago, when I came to Vietnam.

But since you noticed each cake is covered with a layer of nylon, then arranged in a thin plastic tray. All wrapped in a bigger, thicker plastic package and sophisticated print. And then the bag of bread was brought home in another plastic bag. I questioned my conscience. Am I a little cruel when I eat pizza?

I still crave, but I haven't dared to buy much in the last two years. Because every Australian is reminded from an early age that an ordinary nylon bag takes about 25 years to completely decompose, a plastic bottle takes 450 years. The plastic we are using in excess will affect the environment and the health of the generation will call us ... ancestors.

Vietnamese people have a habit of producing and using nylon bags excess. Consumers are willing to accept newly purchased items, especially edible (packaged) items with layers of unnecessary plastic.

New studies estimate that by 2050, the number of marine fish living in the world's oceans will lose to the amount of plastic waste offshore. The bad news is that Vietnam is among the five countries that contribute the most to plastic waste to the sea.

I went to Vietnam beach many times with Vietnamese friends. They, after infatuated with the beach in front of them, took pictures of all sorts, asked a question to me: "Isn't it beautiful, Mr. Cam?"

To be honest, in these situations "Mr. Cam" only yearns to answer "Not very beautiful." You probably guess why. The reason is that compared to the beaches in Australia, Vietnam beach. , no matter how spectacular they are, there's usually a big minus of garbage.

This happened in Phan Thiet. I don't know if people clean trash regularly or not. But maybe because people also litter regularly, I still see garbage just floating on the water, just scattered all over the sand. Not very much, but they are enough to spoil the landscape and emotions of nature lovers.

Rubbish is everywhere in public places, not just near the ocean. They make many foreigners wonder: why a nation with such pride, culture and historical achievements as proud of Vietnam, is not proud of its natural heritage. So many people are indifferent to the natural beauty and urban landscape that they can cross their arms and watch their country so much garbage?

At first glance, the problem may seem simple, but it is not. I personally think for several days and turn out to be a few reasons why Vietnamese people have a habit of throwing rubbish indiscriminately.

Firstly, Vietnamese people work hard and work in many fields, but when it comes to trash, many people are a bit lazy. For example, I see no shortage of trash cans that are already set on the beach but many people even sitting nearby still do not put garbage in the bin.

Quite a number of people are indifferent to the indiscriminate waste around the living area. I dare not say they lack aesthetic eyes. I guess the truck driver who knew the beauty of the girl nearly got hit by the body of a cane juice, but he probably didn't know that there was a wider landscape that he had just destroyed.

Second, there is the so-called mass mentality. This person throws rubbish indiscriminately off the beach, by the river, or in other public places, others follow in a fairly natural way. Children follow their parents, youngest children follow siblings, friends imitate each other. The "subordinate" does not knowingly do wrong or bad, but may simply dismiss the sense of the environment to follow the example of the "superiors".

However, the problem of spam does not only stem from individuals. It also seems to be related to community behavior.

I find that the act of encouraging people to protect the environment is not drastic enough. Sanctions against the dumping of waste in places not yet implemented seriously have made people not afraid.

Last but not least, some people do not seem to be fully educated about the impact of environmental pollution. As the manufacturers themselves with plastic packaging, which will later become plastic waste, and more broadly is the consumption habit of Vietnamese people. The World Bank survey also shows that Vietnam ranks 16th in the world in the rate of plastic waste, with 60% of the amount of waste is the hard-to-decompose compound. It is one of the few global rankings in which Vietnam ranks first.

So what to do? Everyone can do their best to say no to the salesperson when they are shoving their bags into plastic bags and preparing to put another one out. You can bring your own backpack or canvas bag to the supermarket and say two simple words: "Quit" to be polite enough. In terms of community, parents and seniors can set an example and encourage their children to dispose of rubbish in the right place. And anyone can spend a minute, go online typing the phrase "ocean waste".

As for me, I sit here and wish that I can eat pizza cake freely.

Cameron Shingleton
(Originally in Vietnamese)