Biology is the answer

Vietnam moves toward biodegradable plastics

14:56 | 27/03/2020 Environment

(VEN) - Vietnam has adopted an ambitious roadmap to stop using disposable plastic at stores, markets and supermarkets in urban areas by 2021 and in the whole country by 2025, and replace them with biodegradable materials.

vietnam moves toward biodegradable plastics
A production line of AnEco biodegradable products

Biodegradable materials can completely decompose into water, carbon dioxide (CO2) and biomass under the impact of microorganisms. In accordance with strict international standards, such as ASTM D6400 (the United State) or EN 13432 (the European Union), products made from biodegradable materials must be certified with the label “compostable”.

Many countries use biodegradable materials to produce plastic bags. According to Bram Brouwer, Managing Director of BE-Basic Foundation (the Netherlands), the Netherlands and Europe in general have studied and put into use alternative biodegradable materials and are promoting economic development based on biology. “Currently, we are studying a group of tectonic chemicals, bioplastics and compounds containing substances with biological functions from biomass called FDCA. More applications of FDCA will give us more opportunities for sustainable growth in the biological economy,” he said.

According to a report by Ipsos Business Consulting, a global growth strategy consulting firm based in Paris, Vietnam’s per capita plastic waste is the third highest in Southeast Asia after increasing more than 10-fold in the last three decades. The country generates 1.8 million tonnes of it annually, but recycles only 27 percent, the report said.

Few products manufactured in Vietnam are made from biodegradable materials that can completely decompose and are environmentally friendly. The most popular brand in the market today for this product line is the AnEco brand of An Phat Holdings Group, which decomposes completely within six months.

Dr. Nguyen Le Thang Long, Director of Research and Development at An Phat Holdings, said the group is the first producer in Vietnam to be granted the international certificate TUV Vincotte OK HOME CONPOST for microbiological products. An Phat Bioplastics is one of five Asian companies which are members of the European Bioplastics Association.

In recent years, An Phat Holdings has been focusing on the production of eco-friendly, biodegradable consumer products, such as disposable supermarket bags, gloves, and straws, knives, spoons, and forks. It is considered the first enterprise in Vietnam with a methodical and focused strategy for the biodegradable materials industry. Its biggest goals are to ensure safety for users and create a green, plastic waste-free environment.

Environmentally friendly bags are those that can be 60 percent biodegradable within two years. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, 41 enterprises in Vietnam have three-year environmentally friendly certificates for their bags.

Thu Huong