Top 3 plastic polluters in Vietnam identified, Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance calls for ‘locking the plastic valve’ in plastics pollution

by admin

March 13, 2021 at 01:02:13 PM

Da Nang, March 11, 2021 – A recent report shows Coca Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle as the top 3 plastic polluters in Vietnam.  This is according to the Vietnam Waste Assessment and Brand Audit Report (2018-2020) published by Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance (VZWA) and its member organizations.

The findings were based on several waste audits conducted in 8 coastal areas, including 12 hotels, 9 restaurants, 2 schools, and 6 tour boats. The waste audits, which accounted for 16,730kg and 108,787 liters of waste, showed that over 80% of Vietnam’s municipal waste can be recycled or composted. Half of the remaining waste fraction are plastic bags and plastic packaging. 

The report likewise shows that plastic bags account for 36% of Vietnam’s plastic waste. On average, a Vietnamese citizen uses more than one plastic bag per day. Other plastic waste found in the waste audits were takeaway containers, hard plastic containers, PET bottles, and disposable diapers.

Dr. Quach Thi Xuan, the country coordinator of VZWA, shared that Vietnam is currently labelled as among the top 5 countries that is leaking plastic pollution to oceans. “We cannot solve plastic problems by focusing solely on waste treatment solutions. It is time to look at the waste sources and lock the plastic valve to prevent pollution.” 

Through this report, VZWA  proposes a roadmap for banning single-use plastic products based on several criteria of the National Action Partnership Program on Plastics in Vietnam 2020 (NPAP). 

Satyarupa Shekhar, the BFFP Asia Pacific Coordinator endorsed the VZWA findings and recommendations saying that, “Citizen science has revealed powerful evidence of who the real polluters are, and the Vietnam brand audit results serve to underscore the need to hold them accountable. Year on year, citizens across the world have found the same businesses appearing on the Top Polluters list, but they continue to manufacture them with impunity. It is time to bring in policies that enable a meaningful systems change to counter the industry’s license to disregard their impacts on people’s health and the environment.”  

The waste audit also showed that the amount of plastic consumed per resident was four times less in Cu Lao Cham, a rural island community, where a plastic ban is in effect, compared with Ha Long City, a relatively wealthy, mid-sized city with no such bans enacted. Audits were conducted at Cu Lao Cham twice (in 2019 and 2020), further verifying this result. Likewise, these findings validate calls to phase out non-essential plastic items in Vietnam.

The Vietnam Waste Assessment and Brand Audit Report in 2018-2020 was conducted in 8 coastal areas (Ha Long, Nam Dinh, Da Nang, Sa Huynh, Cu Lao Cham, Hoi An, Phu Yen and Cat Ba)  by VZWA and its members: GreenHub, GreenViet, Sungco, MCD Vietnam, and Cham Islands MPA.

Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance (VZWA) is a grassroots alliance of concerned organizations and citizens that share the goal of applying zero waste practices to better manage solid waste, reduce plastics, save natural resources, and protect the environment of Vietnam. VZWA members are non-profit groups, government entities, universities, and businesses.

For more information, contact 

Dr. Quach Thi Xuan, Country Coordinator, Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance (VZWA)
quachthixuan@gmail.com  

Jed Alegado, Senior Communications Officer, Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) Asia Pacific
jed@breakfreefromplastic.org I +63 917 6070248

Sonia Astudillo, Communications Officer, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) Asia Pacific
sonia@no-burn.org I +63 917 5969286

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