Vietnam faces challenges in management of persistent plastic waste

Difficulty in management

Vietnam produces twice the amount of plastic waste that low-income countries do. Plastic waste not only destroys the natural environment, but also negatively affects aquatic and marine life. On land, plastic waste is pervasive, seriously affecting human health. Notably, the amount of plastic waste and nylon bags in our country accounts for about 8–12 percent of domestic solid waste.

According to the national environmental status report in 2019, like many countries in the world, nearly 50 percent of plastic products in Vietnam are designed for one-time use and then discarded. Only one part of discarded plastics are then recycled, while the rest is incinerated or buried.

Currently, Vietnam has no specific data on the rate of plastic waste collection but it has data on domestic solid waste collection, including plastic waste and nylon bags. The sorting and collection of recyclable plastic waste is often an initiative of households or garbage/scrap collectors. Most plastic waste from households, markets and public areas is treated like other solid waste, even though the nylon bags in Vietnam are usually ultra-thin and hard to decompose.

Public awareness of the importance of collecting, disposing, transporting and treating plastic waste and nylon bags is limited. At the same time, the management and treatment of domestic solid waste is not focused on solutions to minimize, reuse and recycle plastic waste as an energy source.

Utilizing waste, taxing plastic

In order to manage plastic waste according to the national action plan on ocean plastic waste management 2020, Vietnam first needs to collect data on the current state of plastic waste as well as improve policies, mechanisms and promote scientific solutions to create a data source on plastic waste in the country.

The environmental industry market must also be promoted given the current low economic value of recycling. Utilizing waste as raw material for production and energy not only increases economic growth but also reduces the exploitation of non-renewable resources and fuels. Domestic solid waste, especially, is a potential source of recyclable components with high economic value.

According to Dr. Hoang Van Thuc, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Environment Administration, Vietnam must raise public awareness, develop recycling and plastic waste treatment technology, and apply new materials to replace nylon bags. It must also carry out PM Decision No.73/2014/QD-TTg on scrap imports, only allowing import of plastics having high recycling value.

Dr. Thuc also emphasized that Vietnam should consider plastic packages as taxable goods and raise tax rates to limit their production and use. In addition, an environmental protection tax should be imposed on nylon bags while environmentally friendly nylon bags should be exempted from environmental protection tax. Authorities should provide incentives for production and consumption of eco-friendly products to replace plastic products, and inspections and sanctions must be enforced to limit harmful plastic waste.

Thu Huong

Recommended Content
» Vietnam struggles with plastic waste management
With daily plastic waste of approximately 18,000 tonnes, Vietnam is one of the world’s top five dischargers of waste into the sea, at 1.8 million tonnes annually. Its action plan on ocean plastic...

See more: Vietnam struggles with plastic waste management

» Vietnam seeks to accelerate plastic waste recycling
A large amount of plastic waste is discharged in Vietnam but the country still lacks an efficient solution for recycling that type of waste....

See more: Vietnam seeks to accelerate plastic waste recycling

» Vietnam mulls more legal action to reduce plastic waste
Vietnam’s National Assembly is discussing proposed amendments to the country’s Environmental Protection Law to include the responsibilities of users, traders and collectors of plastic waste as well...

See more: Vietnam mulls more legal action to reduce plastic waste

» AEON Vietnam says “no” to single-use plastic
The draft revised Law on Environmental Protection was presented for the first time at the ninth session of the 14th-tenure National Assembly which opened on May 20. Apart from new, positive points,...

See more: AEON Vietnam says “no” to single-use plastic

» Vietnam mulls how to break the plastic bag habit
Vietnam has taken determined measures to limit the use of plastic bags, but the well-known saying that bad habits are hard to break certainly applies to such a convenient and ubiquitous habit....

See more: Vietnam mulls how to break the plastic bag habit

» Innovation Challenge launched to tackle plastic pollution in ASEAN
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), together with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), on June 24 launched an ASEAN-wide innovation challenge to deal with plastic...

See more: Innovation Challenge launched to tackle plastic pollution in ASEAN

» Proposal on high taxes to limit the use of nylon bags
VCN - The Customs and Ho Chi Minh City Tax Agency have proposed that the Law on Environmental Protection Tax should be reviewed to consider increasing the tax on nylon bags....

See more: Proposal on high taxes to limit the use of nylon bags

» Quang Nam Beach covered in rubbish
Over 1km of beach in Tam Hai Island, Quang Nam Province, is completely covered in rubbish swept in by the tides. Most of the rubbish is bottles, nylon bags and household waste. The beach is...

See more: Quang Nam Beach covered in rubbish

» State Treasury managed state budget flexibly and reduce waste in 2019
The State Treasury held a conference reviewing its work in 2019 and deploying tasks for 2020, with remarkable results...

See more: State Treasury managed state budget flexibly and reduce waste in 2019

» Urban buildings: the cause of pollution and the ultimate solution
By 2060, we will have approximately two trillion square feet of buildings across the globe....

See more: Urban buildings: the cause of pollution and the ultimate solution

  • Comment
  • Latest
  • Read