Greenhouse plastic boom blights Vietnam’s vegetable and flower basket

Cam Ly landfill was the primary dumping ground for the city of Dalat until it was shut down in 2020. Located five kilometers from central Dalat in the Central Highlands region, the landfill was the final destination for most agricultural plastic used on the hilltop locale.

But in August 2019, heavy rain prompted an outpour of trash, sending plastic sheeting from greenhouses and untreated agrichemical bags and bottles rushing downhill. The incident covered lowland farms in thousands of tonnes of waste.

Dalat is the capital of the Lam Dong province, and the municipality is known for its temperate climate, rolling hills, pine trees, and agriculture. Over the past two decades, plastic greenhouses have enveloped much of the landscape within the city and surrounding areas.

These greenhouses have increased agricultural production and raised farmers’ income. However, they are also contributing to rising temperatures, floods, pollution of waterways, and the build-up of agri-plastic waste, with no formal recycling system.

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