AEON Vietnam shelves plastic bag use

13:00 | 12/06/2022 Environment

(VEN) - Providing customers with environmentally friendly products is one of AEON Vietnam's commitments to implementing the Vietnamese government’s 2021-2030 national action program for sustainable production and consumption.

Disposable plastic bag minimization

Since AEON Vietnam launched its first shopping mall in Vietnam in 2014, all of the company's department stores and supermarkets have been using carrier-bags made from biodegradable plastic (PHSH). The rate of PHSH bags in AEON Vietnam facilities reached 95 percent in late 2021 and is expected to reach 100 percent by the end of 2022.

aeon vietnam shelves plastic bag use
AEON Vietnam has implemented priority counters for customers who do not use PHSH bags

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hue, Director of Corporate Communication & External Affairs at AEON Vietnam, said the company had launched many initiatives to minimize the use of PHSH bags in particular and single-use plastic products in general. Accordingly, AEON Vietnam has implemented priority counters for customers who do not use PHSH bags while optimizing the goods packaging process, decreasing the number of PHSH bags from five to three bags per transaction, improving employees’ and customers’ awareness of environmental protection through annual training and communications programs, and encouraging customers to use their own bags instead of disposable plastic ones.

On May 5, 2022, AEON Vietnam kicked off an initiative of leasing “environmental bags” to its customers requiring a deposit of VND5,000 for each bag, which is refunded with their next purchase. AEON Vietnam has replaced food containers (bowls and trays) made from Styrofoam and disposable plastic with environmentally friendly materials such as bagasse and paper.

Proper certification

According to Hue, in Japan, AEON has developed its TOPVALU brand and GREENEYE product line with a series of products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). AEON will increase the presence of these products at its Vietnam facilities in the future, Hue said.

aeon vietnam shelves plastic bag use

However, according to Hue, the development of eco-labeled products in Vietnam is facing a number of challenges, including high cost of ecological and sustainable product manufacturing, poor information on sustainable and ecological products, the small number of eco-labeled products, and unclear standards and processes for ecological product certification.

Hue said all parties in the supply chain need to make consistent changes in order to increase the presence of eco-labeled products. Specifically, the government should facilitate changes and improve environmental and sustainable development policies to pave the way for manufacturers and distributors to renovate and invest in technology, and make ecological products/materials more accessible to consumers. Meanwhile, manufacturers need to strengthen investment in research and development (R&D) of ecological products meeting the needs and tastes of Vietnamese consumers, and work closely with industry and business associations for eco-certification support.

It is necessary to develop programs and initiatives to improve consumer awareness of sustainable products and assist them in making environmentally conscious decisions.

Thu Huong