Rethink Plastic: a Seminar to Challenge Plastic Waste in Vietnam

Daily News - Vietnam: Sept. 21, 2018

Rethink Plastic Vietnam: Rubbish or Valuable Resource?

The Seminar “ Rethink Plastic” has the ambition to shed light on how to make a more sustainable use of plastic products and to brainstorm on possible innovative solutions to deal with waste management and reuse of plastic products into more sustainable products.

Location: Deutsches Haus | 33 Lê Duẩn, Bến Nghé, D1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Date: 27 September, 2018. 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Hosted by: The Consulate-General of the Netherlands; The Dutch Business Association Vietnam; and the Dutch Association.

Interested in participating? Please register online through the Dutch Business Association Vietnam DBVA.

Overuse of Plastic in Vietnam

More than half of the plastic waste dumped into the ocean comes from just five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The increasing middle class of these countries had led to the excessive consumption of plastic and plastic-intensive goods, which grows at the same rate as the economy of these countries.

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Most of these countries import waste from western countries and since China decision on banning import waste in 2017, the situation will drastically aggravate. Finally the insufficient waste management infrastructure of these countries is not able to deal with the increasing excess of waste. As a result 75 percent of ocean plastic comes from uncollected waste and 25 percent from leakage of collected waste (McKinsey Report, 2015).

As an immediate priority, punctual actions targeting the reduction of plastic-waste leakage through innovative solutions might result in a 45 percent reduction globally.

These solutions might include the improvement and diversification of collection systems, the increase of waste-collection rates, the introduction and adoption of new technologies to treat waste and sorting out high-value plastic waste.

Video source: Guardian News


1:30 - 2:00 Registration

Part One | Rethink Plastic Vietnam Seminar

2:00 - 2:05 Welcome Speech 
Mr Pavel Poskakukhin—Chairman Dutch Business Association

2:05 - 2:15 Opening remarks
Dr Carel Richter—Consul-General of the Netherlands in Vietnam

Brief introduction to the Plastic Challenges in Vietnam and the initiatives of the Dutch Government in dealing with it.

2:15 - 2:25 Government Representative speech
Director Donre (Department of Natural Resources and Environment)

2:25 - 2:40 Plastic and the Environment: the Saigon River Case Study.
Dr Emily Strady—Researcher at the French Research Institute on Sustainable Development-IRD, Marseille, France.

Critical analytical review of the global situation of plastic waste with specific reference to the Asian region and Vietnam.

2:40 - 3:10 Key Note Speech
Mr Craig Leeson—Journalist and Global Chief Evangelist at Plastic Ocean.
Founder of Leeson Media International and Ocean Vista Films.

Screening of the Plastic Ocean trailer (7min)

Plastic Ocean’s message is to raise awareness on plastic pollution and the existing solutions.

3:10 - 3:15 Innovative business solutions to reduce, reuse and recycling plastic
Dr Carel Richter—Dutch Consul General

Introduction of innovative companies who offer concrete solutions to reduce, reuse and/or recycle plastic in Vietnam.

3:15 - 3:30 Business pitches of innovative companies.

Upp! Cycling

Up! Cycling offers a solution by up-cycling plastic waste into sustainable, eco-friendly and yet, durable construction materials; such as planks and poles that could be used to make boardwalks, decks for jetties, bridges, corridors, balconies, and more.

Wave Eco-Solutions

WAVE produces (garbage) bags made out of a bio-based polymer compound that comes from raw materials such as cassava, corn, and other industrial natural starches. WAVE bags are the ideal alternative for regular plastic, as they merely make use of the sustainable natural resources available. The material is strong and durable and is therefore perfectly suitable to replace the regular and wasteful plastic bag.

Impact Vietnam

A network of committed tourism operators working for the promotion of sustainable tourism in Vietnam. Organiser of the nationwide campaign ‘Refill My Bottle’.


Reform researches the possibilities of recycling plastic waste into 3D-printer filament.

3:30 - 3:40 Round up part one and amp; introducing part two.
Mr Pavel Poskakukhin– Chairman Dutch Business Association

3:40 - 4:00 Coffee break

PartTwo | Rethink Plastic Vietnam Seminar Working group sessions

Participants will join their working group to share experiences and ideas on specific pre-selected topics. (Participants select their working group during online registration)

16:00 - 17:00 Working groups sessions in progress

1. Raising awareness in the community

Moderator: Local Representative

Participants: Business, Public and Civil sector representatives of Thao Dien (supermarkets and retailers; restaurants and bars; beauty salons and spas; community associations; local authorities).

Objective: How to raise awareness among citizens, customers and entrepreneurs residing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The community is recently adopting ad hoc practices in dealing with the excess of plastic waste by introducing creative ways to recycle, reuse and dispose of plastic.

However, there is a need for more concerted efforts among all residents to join collective initiatives that have a greater impact.

2. Educational programme and children sensitisation

Moderator: ISHCMC Sustainability Coordinator

Participants: International and local schools; universities and research centres.

Objective: Raising awareness on sustainable use of plastic among the school community.

Schools in Saigon are actively engaged in promoting a more sustainable use of our resources, especially plastic. Sharing their experiences and programmes on how to enhance the effectiveness of these programmes will certainly contribute to raise awareness among the future generation and to promote a more sustainable use of plastics at school.

3. Sustainable Tourism

Moderator: Tourism sector representative

Participants: Travel Agencies; Hotels; Resorts; Tourism Institutes.

Objective: Innovative initiatives to raise awareness among tourists and visitors to promote a more sustainable use of plastics.

Vietnam is facing a remarkable increasing number of tourists every year that benefit the local economy but also pose threat to the environment. Tourists are temporary visitors who don’t necessarily share the concern on reusing or recycling plastic.

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4. Inside company and office campaigns to reduce/reuse/recycle plastics

Moderator: EuroCham representative

Participants: Business participating in the EuroCham initiative.

Objective: Sharing lesson learnt on the initiative and disseminates it among other participants.

In November 2017, EUROCHAM launched a sustainability initiative with the aim of banning the single-use of plastic bottles in the office operations of 30 companies. Learning from this great initiative can inspire others to do the same.

5. Reduce, reuse and recycle the plastic used in your production process

Moderator: Business representative

Participants: Local and international business representatives

Objective: Innovative ways to reduce the use of plastic in the manufacturing industry.

Vietnam is striving worldwide for its potentials in the manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, most of the current production processes make an excessive use of plastic that is not or can not easily be recycled or disposed of.

17:00 - 17:30 Concluding remarks
Mr Pavel Poskakukhin – Chairman Dutch Business Association

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