Seeking solutions to reduce plastic waste for a sustainable future

06:00 | 27/06/2021 Environment

(VEN) - The Newspaper of Industry and Trade recently held a talk show addressing Vietnam’s plastic waste problems and the search for solutions.

seeking solutions to reduce plastic waste for a sustainable future
A talk show addressing Vietnam’s plastic waste problems

Identifying priorities

According to Vietnam Environmental Industry Association Chair Tran Van Luong, with a coastline of more than 3,000 kilometers, Vietnam is facing a great challenge with nearly one million tonnes of plastic waste discharged into the ocean every year. Overall solutions are required from the production stage, through distribution and consumption to processing and recycling. Luong said the most important and urgent step is the application of recycling and conversion technology to replace the pervasive disposable plastic bags with alternative products.

Discussing the recycling issue, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Trong, chair of the T-Tech Vietnam Group, urged the state to adopt policies encouraging small domestic production enterprises to prioritize the use of recycled plastic beads instead of spending foreign currency on imports.

Dr. Cao Van Son, Deputy Director of the Research Institute of Pulp and Paper Industry, addressed the challenge of environmentally friendly alternatives stemming from higher production costs, various requirements in terms of quality, as well as sufficient quantities of each type of product.

Packaging recycling encouraged

In recent years, supermarkets have taken specific actions to raise people’s awareness of environmental protection in order to reduce plastic waste consumption.

However, the actions of distribution channels alone are not sufficient. In order to reduce plastic waste thoroughly, state management agencies must adopt specific policies to encourage the reduction of plastic waste, and urge businesses and people to take responsibility in this regard.

Tran Van Luong also said that Vietnam has not yet developed a system of national standards and regulations for biodegradable bags, and has not adopted mechanisms and policies to encourage production of replacement products for nylon bags, either. Therefore, he and other experts urged the formulation of appropriate policies to support producers of plastic bag substitutes. They also suggested that distribution businesses share profits with producers so that alternatives to nylon bags are competitively priced or even handed out for free to consumers.

The state needs to adopt policies encouraging domestic production enterprises to prioritize the use of recycled plastic beads and support the production of alternative products to plastic bags.

Thu Huong