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Plastics recycling needs policy overhaul

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The recycling industry has developed well, but is still meeting barriers to further growth.

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Plastics recycling needs policy overhaul


Experts say to develop plastics recycling, legal and economic solutions are needed to heighten public awareness. The solutions aim at three goals – improving the effectiveness of plastics collection, designing policies for recycling activities, and supporting recycling enterprises.

The amount of plastic waste totals 18,000 tons a day, while the scrap plastics price is low.

Nguyen Nhu Khue, managing director of RKW Lotus, said plastics export turnover has grown by 20 percent on average.

Plastic waste recycling can help save energy for primeval resin production, save oil and non-renewable natural resources. It could contribute to settling environmental problems affecting sewer congestion and land degradation.

Currently, it costs VND300,000 to bury one ton of waste. In HCM City, about 50,000 tons of plastic waste are buried. If the amount of waste can be recycled, HCM City could save VND15 billion a year.

With the current plastics consumption level, the population increase and economic development, plastic waste volume may reach 400,000 tons a year by 2020.

According to the Vietnam Plastics Association (VPA), if 35-50 percent of plastic waste could be used a year, enterprises would be able to cut production costs by 15 percent.

According to the HCM City Waste Recycling Fund, the proportion of plastic waste is the second largest, just after food waste, of total domestic solid waste, with an estimated 250,000 tons of plastic waste discarded each year.. 

However, the volume of plastics collected accounts for only 10 percent of total plastic waste.

Many Chinese enterprises have come to Vietnam to set up plastic recycling workshops. The plastic beads generated by the workshops are carried to China. However, experts warn that this is a great challenge to Vietnam’s environment.

Pollution, outdated technologies

Plastics recycling requires advanced technologies. Enterprises in the industry are mostly small and cannot buy modern technologies and production lines. As a result, some recycled plastics may harm people’s health.

At recycling workshops, the classification of plastic waste is still done manually, and workers face risks of being injured or catching disease.

Environmentalists have proposed the State issue policies aiming to reduce the production of plastic products and encourage businesses to produce environmentally friendly products.  



Source: VietNamNet

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