Before 2015 this alley of Bui Xuong Trach in Hanoi’s Thanh Xuan District was one of the biggest charcoal pellet making locations with 10 family-run facilities making the popular honeycomb-shaped pellets. Now only four remain in business. In 2017 Hanoi unveiled a plan to stop the production of charcoal to tackle pollution, and has so far had 33,000 stoves removed. The Municipal People’s Committee wants charcoal stoves to be fully gone before the end of 2020. Authorities have helped people using them switch to other types of stoves that are more environment-friendly like those using gas or agricultural waste. “Five years ago my family made 10,000 pellets a day and sold them; now we just hope to sell 1,000-2,000,” Nguyen Lieu says while mixing coal powder and mud before molding them. His family is trying to sustain its livelihood until authorities completely ban charcoal pellets by the end of this year. According to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, more than 22,000 were still in use as of November 2019. Hanoians still burn 528 tons of charcoal every day, equivalent to 1,870 tons of CO2 emissions. Bien, the owner of a charcoal making facility, stands amid thousands of unsold pellets. He and… Read full this story
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