Millions of tons of plastic exit the recycling system every year. Vietnam is no exception. According to a new report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank, the country in Southeast Asia wastes nearly 3 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of recyclable plastics annually due to the lack of waste management infrastructure. Of the 3.9 million tons of PET and polyolefins (PO) produced in Vietnam, only 33% are collected for recycling. With global warming becoming more evident and plastic production and pollution increasing at a rapid pace, Vietnam is set to take action against plastic pollution and mitigate climate change. The country set ambitious targets, including a 50% reduction of plastic litter leakage into the ocean by 2025, the introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies and formalizing the informal waste sector. In response to Vietnam’s commitment to the cause, it has been invited to become a member of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) to support the realization of the Paris Agreement.
Plastic pollution and its aftermath are not a regional challenge. It has global impacts. To end plastic pollution, UN member states are committed to developing an agreement to end plastic litter leakage. First discussed in Nairobi in March 2022, the UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution has the power to catalyze the swift implementation of waste management and recycling systems, address the plastic pollution crisis at scale and forge the path towards a circular economy for plastics.
To reach the country’s ambitions and examine the UN Global Plastic Treaty with industry experts, the National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP), together with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), called for the NPAP Plastic Talk on August 28, in Ha Noi, Vietnam. The NPAP is a platform that brings together governments and other important stakeholders to act on plastic waste and pollution. The hybrid event is considered one of the measures Vietnam is taking to move forward in its fight against plastic pollution. Hosted by the UNDP and NPAP, the conference explored “How can business contribute to a Global Plastics Treaty.”
Agenda topics included: discussions about the different viewpoints and contributions of the private sector to the framework definition; implementation of the legally binding agreement on plastic pollution; and how the business coalition can foster partnerships in developing an ambitious and effective global agreement on plastics. Furthermore, presenters and panelists talked about the opportunities and challenges for plastic producers in Vietnam, considering that there are more opportunities than challenges.
TOMRA, one of the founding members of the Business Coalition for the Global Plastic Treaty and an impact leader in the industry, has been invited to join the plastic talks to share its point of view on the treaty, its expertise, and recommendations. During NPAP, Annupa Ahi, Vice President of Public Affairs at TOMRA Asia, held a presentation on “The role of Asian and Vietnamese Enterprises in the UN Plastic Treaty.” Additionally, TOMRA CEO Tove Andersen joined the concluding panel discussion with representatives from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Norwegian Embassy, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), TOMRA, and the Viet Nam Plastics Association.