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Vietnam tests waters for plastic credits to fight marine pollution

New approach takes page from carbon trading but fears remain of 'greenwashing'

Coastal plastic: Vietnam is among the top five countries that send litter to sea, along with China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, according to Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit based in Washington. (Source photos by Reuters)

HO CHI MINH CITY -- It was just a reusable bag, and few people would have been as excited as Barak Ekshtein when he saw it produced at a Vietnam factory for a French grocer. The eco-entrepreneur was drawn by its blue-and-orange seascape design and a message that it was made from recovered marine plastic.

He later discovered that not all the material came from recycled sources, but the bag made him curious about marine plastic, finally leading to the question: What if businesses paid to offset their plastic waste, as they do for carbon pollution?

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