In Vietnam, nearly 5 million tons of plastic ends up in landfills annually. Too often, plastic bottles, straws, bags and other wrappings pollute the rivers and oceans, threatening the environment and the world’s supply of fresh fish. Microplastics (extremely small pieces of plastic debris in the environment) can absorb toxic chemicals and then release them in an animal’s digestive systems. This is a threat to marine life and to populations who are largely dependent on seafood. Not only is plastic waste a growing problem, it is also a missed opportunity for economic value. When recycled, plastics generate revenue for waste pickers, earn money for recycle operators and can reduce the use of petroleum and energy needed to make virgin plastic.
The Post-Consumer Resin Market Development Partnership will gain commitments from consumer product companies in Vietnam to use recycled plastic (known as post-consumer resin) in their packaging materials and products. Additionally, it will prepare a business plan for building a state-of-the-art plastics recycling factory in Vietnam within a two-year time frame. When fully implemented, this partnership could result in USD 15-20 million investment in Vietnam’s sustainable plastics economy, leading to less plastic ending up in oceans and landfills. The partnership draws on the expertise and collaboration of civil society, private and public sector organizations in Vietnam and globally. These include: Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), Unilever Vietnam, IAV Global (a Vietnamese plastic recycling company), and Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD).