Vietnam to ban single-use plastic bags at malls, supermarkets from 2026

From 2026 supermarkets and stores in shopping malls will not be allowed to pack goods in single-use plastic bags, an environment ministry official has said.

Vietnam has various regulations for controlling plastic waste, and they include having all retailers switch to environment-friendly bags by 2025, Nguyen Trung Thang, deputy head of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said.

"Starting in 2026 any retailer who still gives customers single-use plastic bags will be punished," he said at a conference in Hanoi on Wednesday, as cited by Vietnam News Agency.

He did not mention what the rule will be specifically for stores outside supermarkets and shopping malls.

According to the institute, supermarkets consume 104,000 single-use plastic bags a day on average, or 38 million a year.

According to data released last year by the ministry, plastic waste accounts for 7 percent of the solid waste discharged every day in Vietnam, on nearly 2,500 tons.

Some 0.28-0.73 million tons of plastic waste enter the country's seas every year.

In 2019 then Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a national action plan for the management of plastic wastes in the ocean for until 2030 that seeks to reduce the plastic wastes dumped into the ocean and collect 100 percent of lost and discarded fishing equipment.

Besides, all coastal tourism service providers will stop using disposable plastic products and non-degradable plastic bags, and marine protected areas will be completely free of plastic waste.