|Volunteers collect garbage on Ly Sơn island, off the coast of Quang Ngai province. - Photo courtesy Le Xuan Tho)
Le Xuan Tho, a volunteer, said the group picked up garbage along the coast of the island and An Binh islet – three miles away from the main island – with the spirit of creating a “Green-Clean-Beautiful” environment.
Tho said residents of the island also participated in an earlier event to clean up the coral reefs and rocks 20m offshore. The Volunteers also hosted a communication campaign to talk with local islanders about pollution and plastic waste and offer suggestions on how to reduce single-use bags.
He said most and plastic waste came from tourists, even though signs encouraging environmental protection were set up at destinations and ports.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) launched a communication campaign to discourage the use of plastic bags as a prelude to its sea turtle conservation programme on the island from 2018.
IUCN said the campaign aims to raise awareness among islanders and tourists of the need to create clean and safe marine areas for sea turtles to return to the island in the near future.
The island – as well as a vast coastal area in the districts of Binh Son, Tra Bong, Ba To, Sa Huynh, Nghia Hanh and Quang Ngai city on a total of 2,000sq.km – is being considered for designation as a Global Geo-Park by UNESCO.
Ly Son island, known as the “Kingdom of Garlic”, has around 21,000 inhabitants, 73 percent of whom make their living from farming garlic and spring onions, alongside fishing. It hosts around 200,000 tourists each year.