More than 75 per cent of the material value of plastics is squandered when discarded after a single use, reported World Bank's 2021 Southeast Asian research. To promote sustainable consumption preferences, VIR presented a talk show titled Innovative Solutions & Substitutes for Single-use Plastic Towards Green Consumption on June 23 as part of a series of talks with firms from various industries.
|The talk show on Innovative Solutions & Substitutes for Single-use Plastic towards Green Consumption |
The talk show saw the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIt), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), and three major retailers in Vietnam.
The participants discussed innovative and sustainable solutions for substitutes for single-use plastics. They also highlighted existing consumption habits and their future plans which will contribute to the promotion of sustainable consumption.
During the discussion, Vu Minh Ly, deputy director of the Communication Center for Environmental Resources at MoNRE mentioned a new highlight in plastic waste management. The revised Law on Environmental Protection (LEP) 2020 considers waste a form of resource, which is a groundbreaking new approach to waste management.
Numerous policies and incentives are in place to encourage businesses to minimise single-use plastic, aiming to achieve the prime minister’s goal of eliminating all single-use plastic from Vietnam by 2025.
Ly emphasised the involvement of all stakeholders, including state management agencies, businesses, and consumers, in order to attain the aforementioned objective.
Le Viet Nga, deputy director-general of the Domestic Markets Department at the MoIT said, “Retailers play a crucial role in the reduction of single-use plastic items. As the market offers eco-friendly products, customers will gradually follow the new patterns”.
Representatives of three large retailers of plastic products discussed the strategies and business models they have established to promote sustainable consumption among their customers.
Tan Phu JSC – a manufacturer of plastic containers – is adopting three primary strategies to reduce single-use plastic. It is diversifying its product portfolio from sustainable materials such as ceramic, silicone, and metal, manufacturing high-quality products to enhance product lifecycles, and producing thinner disposable plastic products to help reduce plastic waste while maintaining the product’s features.
Chairman of the board at Tan Phu JSC Hoang Anh Tuan said, "Consumers are receptive to eco-friendly and smart items that may be used several times. Therefore, we consistently improve our products to meet their changing behaviour.”
Meanwhile, as a retailer, Aeonmall Vietnam has implemented different programmes and practices to gradually transform consumers' shopping habits.
Nguyen Bang Lang – who is in charge of the Sustainable Development functions at AEON Vietnam – emphasised, “Supporting consumers to make environmentally friendly decisions has become the core of our sustainable development strategy. The firm has implemented different initiatives, such as assisting clients in renting eco-friendly shopping bags, utilising bagasse trays and cups in the food and beverage zone, and cutting down on the quantity of plastic bags used for packaging."
Cho Tot, an e-commerce network that links suppliers and customers, promotes recycling and targets Generation Z as they will drive future consumption patterns.
Hoang Thi Minh Ngoc, chief growth officer at Cho Tot said, "Consumer trust is the most challenging aspect in the purchase of secondhand products. Cho Tot has collaborated with reliable partners in order to boost their confidence while doing transactions on our platform. We seek to motivate people to adopt sustainable consumption practices”.
Le Viet Nga
Deputy director-general, Domestic Markets Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade
In the period from 2015-2020, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has come up with a wide range of programmes on sustainable consumption, green growth, and cleaner production.
Assessment results by 2020 show that these diverse policies and programmes applicable to both producers and consumers have produced very encouraging results. One example is that in many supermarkets there are separate booths dedicated to products that promote green consumption such as energy-saving items or organic agricultural products. There are also activities set to reduce the use of nylon bags or other single-use plastic items. This was deemed a transitional period, laying the foundation to jumpstart our many practical programmes in later periods.
Businesses are currently much more aware of their responsibilities toward the community, environmental protection, and the sustainability of economic development. The engagement of businesses is important to the success of the strategy approved by the prime minister on green growth and sustainable development.
Hoang Anh Tuan
Chairman of the Board, Tan Phu JSC
Plastic is one of the greatest human creations. It is not harmful. What matters is how we manufacture, utilise, and recycle plastic in our daily lives.
In addition to selling plastic, Tan Phu actively purchases and recycles our own plastic items. Additionally, we purchase recycled materials and manufacture new items from them.
In order to reduce the amount of plastic trash in the environment, recycling strategies should be developed in detail. Concurrently, it is essential to improve training and education to increase public awareness of waste management.
Nguyen Bang Lang
In charge of Sustainable Development functions, AEON Vietnam
From early 2022, AEON Vietnam has become part of The Plastic Alliance which consists of big retailers sharing the vision of reducing the use of nylon bags. By joining the alliance, we want to share and learn from the best practices. In addition, we also receive support with both professional operations and policy incentives.
Consumers are now more aware of the harm of plastic waste and the need for environmental protection. But there is a big gap between shifting awareness and taking concrete action.
This challenge will not be solved overnight. Like the strategy that AEON is aiming for, all businesses should take action and help the consumers to more easily reach decisions on buying products or using services in a more environmentally friendly manner.
Hoang Thi Minh Ngoc
Chief growth officer at Cho Tot
Recycling and sustainable consumption are among the top five concerns of today's generation. They are in charge of the consumption habits in their family while also driving future trends.
Cho Tot seeks to collaborate with state management agencies, organisations, and businesses to promote sustainable consumption in the community. A part of our contribution will be given to those who work as rubbish collectors – the unsung heroes of plastic recycling.