Microplastics pollution in Vietnam: bringing useful information to citizens

Microplastics pollution in Vietnam: bringing useful information to citizens

December 5, 2019

In November, twelve Vietnamese journalists received a specialized training in Ho Chi Minh City on the impact of microplastic on environment and their potential impact on human health to better cover the issue and understand the work of scientists.

"The study of microplastics in the environment is a recent discipline, little seen not included in the scientific courses of secondary and university. It seems important to me to give journalists the basic knowledge of this discipline so that they can understand and work on it", stated Emilie Strady, a researcher at the French research institute IRD, leading the COMPOSE project that is aimed at studying microplastics pollution in the Saigon river.

Speaking to 12 journalists working for online media platforms, TV and newspapers, about the impact of microplastics on the environment, Strady invited them to visit the IRD lab to better understand how scientists work.

For Phung Thi Xuan Mai, who has been working as an environmental journalist for the Tuoi Tre"This training was very meaningful." newspaper for the past two years, "the best part of the training was to visit the lab, interact with researchers and see first-hand how they work on microplastics." she said.

During this three-day training in Ho Chi Minh organized by CFI partner Vietnamese Journalists Training Center (VJTC), journalists were also able to improve their knowledge on the notion of microplastics and have a clear picture of the situation in Vietnam. Besides the IRD lab, they also could visit a local environmental company to deepen their understanding of plastic waste treatment. A representative of the Ministry of Health also explained the current hypothesis on the link between microplastics pollution and human health.

"This is bringing useful information to our readers", said Le Tran Lam, a reporter for the Environment and Health Online publication. "I even now want to go to the field myself and do the same as researchers for a more authentic experience", he shared at the end of the training.

Late November, two stories were published on the microplastics pollution and its potential links to human health risks as well as on the level of microplastics pollution in the Saigon river as a result of the training.

In the framework of the Mekong Sustainable News project, VJTC is currently preparing its next journalism training on air quality in Hanoi.