Plastic disposable cups prohibited in some countries, but not Vietnam

France, the US, Canada and Scotland have said no to plastic disposable cups, but they  are still used widely in Vietnam despite warnings about the existence of carcinogens.

Plastic disposable cups are made of Polystyrene (PS), a kind of cheap lightweight plastic.

A US report showed that when subjected to low or high temperatures, PS can release styrene, an extremely toxic substance. It is an element that can cause cancer, affect DNA , cause neonatal disturbances and nervous system disorders, and change blood concentration.

Even a small volume can have negative consequences on health.

Plastics products usually contain a BPA that is carcinogenic, which can affect brain development and can cause hepatitis, endocrine disorders and infertility.

France is the only country which prohibits the use of disposable plastic items, with the ban expected to take effect from 2020.

To fight against pollution caused by plastic waste, the Scottish government has  prohibited disposable coffee cups at office buildings of the country’s government agencies.

Demand for plastic disposable cups in summer is five times higher than usual because of high demand for sugarcane juice and bubble tea.

Meanwhile, plastic disposable cups are still used on a large scale in Vietnam, especially in summer. Reporters have found that demand for plastic disposable cups in summer is five times higher than usual because of high demand for sugarcane juice and bubble tea.

Nguyen Thu, the owner of a sweetened porridge shop on Nguyen Van Huyen street in Cau Giay district, said glasses are used for the customers who enjoy porridge right at the shop, while plastic disposable cups are used for take-away porridge.

“In winter, I can sell 20-30 glasses of sweetened porridge a day, while the figure is 100 in summer and 60 percent of the orders are take-aways,” she said, adding that she buys 2,000 plastic disposable cups each time and orders cups once every 20 days.

Tuan, the owner of a sugarcane juice shop at Phung Khoang Market, said he only uses plastic disposable cups because of their convenience.

“I don’t have much water to clean glasses here. So, it would be better to use disposable cups,” he explained. “I can save money and time with the cups. They are dirt cheap.”

Bau, the owner of a disposable cup at Dong Xuan Market, the biggest wholesale market in the north, said that these cups sell very well in summer, because of the increased demand for drinks.

“About 5,000-10,000 cups are sold every day,” she said, adding that 50 cups cost VND10,000-20,000. The cups are also sold online.

By Mai Chi, Vietnamnet