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Plastic waste an issue for both government and business

Released at: 20:38, 07/06/2019

Plastic waste an issue for both government and business

Photo: EuroCham in Vietnam

Eurocham conference on June 5 discusses solutions for better plastic waste management.

by Hong Nhung

Addressing the issue of plastic waste in Vietnam was the main topic of discussion at the “Plastic Waste - How Public and Private Sectors Can Help to Address the Issue” conference organized by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) in Ho Chi Minh City on June 5.

The conference brought together more than 100 participants, including representatives from the government, multinational organizations, non-government organizations, researchers, institutions, and the domestic and foreign business communities. In gathering an audience from different sectors and areas, EuroCham aimed to strengthen coordination between the public and private sectors in addressing the issue of plastic waste in Vietnam.

Plastic waste management was discussed from multiple angles. The government’s efforts to reduce plastic waste were shared by Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phuong, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Environment Administration. Meanwhile, Ms. Do Thi Diem Thuy, Deputy Head of the Solid Waste Treatment Division at the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment, spoke about the role of city authorities in reducing plastic waste.

Mr. Tomaso Andreatta, Vice Chairman of EuroCham and Chairman of its Green Growth Sector Committee, shared recommendations from European businesses on plastic waste management. Initiatives from businesses, especially in the packaging industry, will make a huge impact on plastic waste management. BASF, a European business keen on supporting the circular economy and sustainability solutions, gave real-life examples through presentations.

“Plastic waste is becoming a serious environmental problem not just here in Vietnam but around the world,” said Mr. Nicolas Audier, Chairman of EuroCham. “Last year, EuroCham launched its Sustainability Initiative, inviting all members to take simple measures to reduce the environmental footprint of their business operations. While the project has been widely recognized in the business community, its impact has been limited. Fully resolving the plastic waste problem will require a concerted effort from both public and private sectors; from government and big business to households and communities.”

“The government is taking positive and welcome steps to address this issue, and both domestic and international consumers are demanding that companies adapt their business models to be more sustainable,” he went on. “This conference is about bringing together government, business, and civil society to share ideas and best practice from around the world to help tackle the problem of plastic waste and improve the environment for the benefit of all.”

“Plastic is widely used in many different applications; for example to carry food safely along the food supply chain and store them longer at home,” said Mr. Tanachart Ralsiripong, Managing Director of BASF Vietnam. “However, lack of proper infrastructure and behavior to separate and treat plastic waste has caused a multitude of problems. It is a community and system challenge that requires systems solutions.”

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