On the 5th of June, 2019 in Ho Chi Minh City, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) organised the Conference: “Plastic Waste – How Public and Private Sectors Can Help to Address the Issue”. The conference brought together more than 100 participants including representatives from the Government, multinational organisations, non-governmental organisations, researchers, institutions and the domestic and foreign business communities. Gathering an audience from different sectors and areas, EuroCham aims to strengthen the coordination between the public and private sectors in addressing the issues of plastic waste in Vietnam.
At the event, plastic waste management was discussed from multiple angles. The Government of Vietnam’s efforts to reduce plastic waste were shared by Mr. Nguyễn Thành Phương, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Environment Administration. Meanwhile, Ms. Đỗ Thị Diễm Thuý, Deputy Head of Solid Waste Treatment Division, Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Ho Chi Minh city spoke about the role of city authorities in reducing plastic waste. Dr. Albert T. Lieberg, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Vietnam and Chair of the UN-VN Results Group on Climate Change and Environment, shared insights from multinational organisations. Mr. Tomaso Andreatta, Vice Chairman of EuroCham and Chairman of EuroCham’s Green Growth Sector Committee, shared recommendations from European businesses on plastic waste management. Initiatives of 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 their presentations at the conference.
In addition to the topics covered in keynote speeches, more specific questions were addressed during the panel discussion. In addition, Government officials, an EU project advisor, experts and representatives of foreign and local companies who directly and indirectly produce, consume, and recycle plastic materials provided their insights and views on plastic waste management.
Panel discussion (from left to right)
- Ms. Nika Salvetti, Co-founder of Rethink Plastic Vietnam
- Ms. Fanny Quertamp, Senior Advisor, Senior Advisor for Vietnam operations– EU regional project: Reducing plastic waste and marine litter in East and South East Asia
- Ms. Đỗ Thị Diễm Thuý, Deputy Head of Solid Waste Treatment Division, Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Ho Chi Minh city
- Mr. Tomaso Andreatta, EuroCham Vice Chairman, Chairman of EuroCham's Green Growth Sector Committee
- Mr. Rowan Williams, Regional Market Development Manager, Asia Pacific, BASF
- Mr. Phạm Ánh Dương, An Phat Plastic and Green Environment JSC
“Plastic waste is becoming a serious environmental problem not just here in Vietnam, but around the world. Last year, EuroCham launched its Sustainability Initiative, inviting all EuroCham members to take simple measures to reduce the environmental footprint of their business operations. While the project has been well recognised by the businesses community, its impact has been limited. Fully solving 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 of Vietnam 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. 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 foods safely along the food supply chain and store them longer at home. However, lack of proper infrastructure and behavior to segregate and treat plastic waste has caused a multitude of problems. It is a community and system challenge that requires systems solutions.