New task force launched for plastic waste reduction in Vietnam

May 24, 2023 | 16:31
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A new task force was launched by the Vietnam National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) on May 18 to promote innovation and catalyse investment in effective solutions for reducing plastic waste and pollution in Vietnam.

Together with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Hanoi and its commercial arm, Innovation Norway, the task force held its first meeting to discuss new technologies for a deposit return systems (DRS).

New task force launched for plastic waste reduction in Vietnam
The launch of the new task force on May 18

DRS is a scheme where consumers pay a small deposit when purchasing bottles or cans. The deposit is refunded when they return the container to a designated collection point.

This initiative economically incentivises consumers to return used containers for reuse and recycling, reducing pressure on landfills and protecting rivers and oceans from plastic litter.

High-performing DRS can significantly accelerate the circularity of beverage containers like plastic bottles and aluminium cans with high recovery rates, and is a key approach to extended producer responsibility (EPR) for companies that produce and use such containers.

The NPAP Innovation and Financing Task Force – co-chaired by the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Natural Science and Environment (MoNRE) and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste – brings together government agencies and both domestic and international organisations to develop innovative ideas and solutions to drive positive change in terms of plastic reduction, reuse, and recycling, while also unlocking new sources of sustainable financing.

Mette Møglestue, deputy head of Mission at the Norwegian Embassy in Hanoi said, “DRS has proven to be the best performing system that induces the highest collection and recycling rates for beverage containers. Regarded as the world's role model for beverage container recovery and recycling, Norway’s DRS is one of the most efficient in the world and is part of its EPR mechanism.”

New task force launched for plastic waste reduction in Vietnam

Highlighting Norway’s successful cooperation model between the government, research institutions, and industry, Møglestue emphasised “Within the framework of our cooperation with MoNRE and other related stakeholders, we appreciate the opportunity to share Norway’s success stories and international practices to help strengthen the Vietnamese legal framework on EPR and DRS.”

Chair of the task force and director general of MoNRE’s International Cooperation Department Le Ngoc Tuan added, "The establishment of the NPAP Innovation and Financing Task Force is part of a plan that was agreed to at the annual meeting of the NPAP Leadership Board on April 12."

"This is the first task force to be launched and to become operational within the framework of the Vietnam NPAP. This launch demonstrates a suitable approach in line with the overall agenda of the Global Plastic Action Partnership, and will contribute to supporting and promoting innovative solutions for tackling plastic waste and pollution in Vietnam. It will convene and mobilise resources and support the nation and strengthen its capacity to access and share technologies related to plastic waste reduction," Tuan continued.

Members of the new Task Force include the Vietnam National Innovation Centre, Dow Vietnam, Unilever, An Phat Holdings, Duy Tan Recycling, GreenHub, the Startup Vietnam Foundation, Innovation Norway, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Bank.

The task force has also attracted the participation of innovators from the UNDP’s Ending Plastic Pollution Challenges, such as Galaxy Biotech, who encouraged other innovators to access the NPAP platform and explore new investment opportunities.

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By Bich Thuy

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