Newly applied law casts enterprises as driving force of circular economy

10:00 | 15/03/2022 Environment

(VEN) - The Law on Environmental Protection 2020, which took effect on January 1, includes stipulations on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in waste treatment and recycling expected to boost the development of a circular economy in which enterprises play a driving force.

The circular economy is an economic model that emphasizes the management and regeneration of resources in a closed loop, avoiding the creation of waste and environmental pollution. To operate and develop a circular economy, related parties must aim at reduction, recycling and reuse of waste, which is why the EPR is a vital tool.

According to Nguyen Thi from the Department of Legislation (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment-MONRE), under the EPR mechanism, manufacturers are part of the problem and also part of the solution. They are responsible for recycling products and packaging after use. “EPR requires manufacturers to take responsibility for the management of products after they become waste, helping to reduce product management costs towards the end of the life cycle by reducing waste and increasing recycling. Therefore, EPR is one of the important stages of the circular economy, creating economic benefits through the recycling and employment market,” said Thi.

Recalling discarded products still faces difficulties

Implementing a circular economy will have positive impacts in terms of job creation, saving resources, and increased benefits for businesses and society, with enterprises a central engine, and the state and consumers all playing important roles.

Everyone benefits

The state introduced many incentive mechanisms to implement the circular economy in the newly enforced environmental protection legislation, focusing on scientific research and technology transfer activities; developing connections and sharing models and developing the market for reuse and recycling of waste products. The EPR enables business to enhance its reputation and branding, while undertaking social responsibility by providing information and raising consumers’ awareness about sorting and treating waste at home. The law also addresses the formation of informal collection and recycling teams, elimination of unsuitable recycling facilities and reduction of unemployment by generating new jobs. For the environment, EPR helps increase the recycling rate, and reduce emissions to the environment in accordance with Vietnam’s commitments under the Paris Climate Accords.

To successfully implement EPR and build circular economic models, businesses will face many challenges in terms of technology, capital, time, costs and community awareness.

According to a planned roadmap, by December 31, 2023, the MONRE will issue a National Action Plan, build

and operate an information connection and data sharing platform on the application of the circular economy,

issue guidelines for application and assessment of the model’s implementation and promulgate criteria in

environmental protection while implementing the model.

Thu Huong