13:00 | 26/06/2021 Environment
(VEN) - The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Norwegian Embassy in Vietnam and Innovation Norway Vietnam recently co-organized a Virtual Workshop on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in Hanoi. The event was aimed at sharing the experiences and successful EPR models in the world, and evaluating what can be applied in Vietnam.
Virtual workshop on Extended Producer Responsibility
Vietnam is drafting a decree on EPR to impose responsibility on producers and importers of plastic products for collecting and recycling their products after usage. “We have brought in today experts within different aspects of circular economy, packaging, sorting and recycling of plastic products and sustainable waste management. We aim to drive initiatives that will support the goals of the Government of Vietnam,” said Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam Grete Løchen in her opening remarks.
Workshop participants agreed on the necessity of EPR regulation and enforcement. They discussed products and packaging subject to recall and recycling, responsibility of small manufacturers, and related expense levels.
Participants said a mechanism was required to ensure a balance between the state and the private sector in controlling and operating the EPR system because manufacturers cannot monitor themselves. European countries have set up a public-private coordination mechanism to monitor the EPR system through a clearing house similar to EPR Office described in Vietnam’s draft decree. The government can hire an independent auditor to verify a manufacturer or importer's recycling performance report.
Experts at the workshop discussed the importance of transparency and recycling responsibility, including measures to minimize management errors as well as “dark areas” in the performance of manufacturers' responsibilities, increasing trust of manufacturers, importers and the public, and ensuring the healthy operation and development of the EPR system.
Participants introduced the EU’s recycling rates subject to specific materials and the loss rates related to the materials’ consumption, collection, recycling and landfill. This information is important to set recycling rates in Vietnam.
They suggested fines higher than the cost of fulfilling EPR responsibilities for those manufacturers who do not fulfill their responsibilities.
Collection and recycling infrastructure are very important for EPR implementation, workshop participants emphasized, adding that the costs should be covered by public-private partnerships between local governments, packaging recycling organizations (PROs) and manufacturers and importers.
Under Vietnam’s November 2020 Environmental Protection Law, businesses can implement EPR in one of three ways: do the recycling themselves, recycle through a third-party or make a financial contribution to the Vietnam Environmental Fund (VEF).
According to a representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, consultation on the draft decree will continue with businesses, organizations, individuals, domestic and foreign experts.