Plastic Waste to Value Southeast Asia Challenge

Vietnam startup among top five innovators

14:35 | 12/08/2022 Environment

The Incubation Network, in partnership with the Global Plastic Action Partnership, UpLink by the World Economic Forum, and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, recently launched the Plastic Waste to Value Southeast Asia Challenge to tackle plastic waste mismanagement in the region. Established to accelerate innovative solutions that are focused on plastic recycling and upcycling in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, the challenge is excited to unveil five innovators that will be participating in the tailored development program over the course of five months. Plastic People is the only Vietnamese innovator in the Top 5 of the Challenge.  

The challenge received a total of 101 incredible applications through the UpLink platform. 48 shortlisted candidates were carefully assessed by academic researchers, corporate sustainability practitioners, innovators, and climate & circular economy specialists. The selected innovators will receive partnership building opportunities, mentorship, increased visibility, access to networks, and grants to scale their solutions.

“Working in partnership with the Global Plastic Action Partnership and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, The Incubation Network is committed to support solutions that will enhance waste management ecosystems and accelerate the move towards a circular future for plastics,” said Simon Baldwin, Global Head of Circularity, SecondMuse. “We are very excited. The selected innovators have demonstrated a compelling opportunity for growth and economic & environmental impact!”

vietnam startup among top five innovators

Urgent sustainable solutions are needed to combat the ever-growing global plastic waste pollution crisis. Between 2017-2019, an estimated 2 million tonnes of plastic waste leakage per year came from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. This accounts for 17 percent of annual global marine plastic waste leakage. Plastic waste that is not polluting waterways is either burnt or dumped - posing a significant threat to environmental and biodiversity health.

“Innovative solutions are critical to address plastic waste management in the region. We are thrilled to have worked closely with The Incubation Network and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste to identify an impressive cohort of Top Innovators with high-impact solutions that bring value to plastic waste. We look forward to providing the Innovators with greater visibility and impact in the region,” said Poonam Watine, Knowledge Specialist, Global Plastic Action Partnership.

Solutions have been assessed based on their contributions to at least one of the three focus areas: (1) Increasing the amount of plastic waste managed, processed and/or recycled; (2) supporting the operational improvement of plastic waste management and recycling; and (3) improving working conditions of enterprises in plastic waste management and recycling.

vietnam startup among top five innovators

Plastic People (Vietnam) transforms all types of plastic waste into useful and safe products

“Ending plastic waste is a clear and urgent necessity recognizing both the environmental costs and economic losses when plastic waste is not recovered,” said Nicholas Kolesch, Vice President Projects at the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. “With growing demand for post-consumer plastic, the Plastic Waste to Value Southeast Asia Challenge will support ventures in the region to close this gap, getting plastics out of the environment and back into a circular economy.”

On the ground implementation will be supported by Circular Economy advisory firm CL2B, who have previously worked with plastic waste collection and recycling businesses. CL2B Project Coordinator Ky Ly said: “In Vietnam, even though there are a copious amount of small - traditional businesses with a focus on high-value plastic waste, the industry sees very few ventures with high-impact solutions for plastic recycling and upcycling. Fortunately, these ventures are increasingly on the rise as a response to the growing number of initiatives as well as regulations coming into effect with the aim to tackle plastic pollution. Programs such as the Plastic Waste to Value Southeast Asia Challenge will help accelerate local plastic waste recycling solutions and reduce plastic waste mismanagement in the country.”

PV