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Apr 10, 2021 / 15:14

Rethinking plastics: EU-funded project helps ease pollution in Vietnam

Vietnam has joined in a broader international initiative to strive for zero-disposable plastic waste by 2025.

The EU-funded “Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter” project will help Vietnam settle plastic waste for circular economy amid surging discharged amount.

 Coastal area full of plastic waste. Photo: Hung Lekima

The project receives funding from the EU Delegation to Vietnam, the German Cooperation Organization (GIZ), and Expertise France (EF).

It is part of the EU’ initiative on handling plastic pollution in some Asian countries namely China, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Launched on April 9, the project will be specified with reducing untreated plastic waste on land and at sea in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and the central province of Phu Yen.

Ho Chi Minh City will proceed with collecting, classifying, and recycling plastics packaging and managing waste from ships at seaports while activities in Phu Yen are aimed to support a volunteer team to collect marine waste and bring collected waste ashore.

Four main activities will be covered, including collecting plastic package, sorting and recycling, encouraging fishermen to collect plastic waste while fishing, establishing an alliance of supermarkets to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags and managing waste in ports.

Apart from activities, Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) will coordinate with EF and other Vietnamese agencies to support the policy making on reducing and managing plastic waste.

Rui Ludovino, First Counsellor, the EU Delegation to Vietnam, highlighted the significance of the project in the hope that it will inspire policy making in this field, saying that his agency will share experience to minimize marine plastic waste.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Vietnam is the world’s fourth largest marine plastics polluter. To help address the issue, in 2019, Vietnam joined 58 embassies, UN agencies, international organizations, and international NGOs in signing a Code of Conduct on Combating Plastic Pollution.

The Code of Conduct is part of a broader international initiative that aims to support efforts by the Vietnamese government, businesses, and the civil society to substantially reduce plastic pollution.

The country has set the target to have zero disposable plastic waste by 2025.