Smart solutions to solve global issue of plastic pollution
“Rethink plastic Vietnam” seminar was held on September 27th in HCMC with the participant of Dr. Carel Richter, Consul General of the Netherlands in HCMC; Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE), Dutch Business Association Vietnam, domestic, international researchers and businesses.
Giving a speech at the opening ceremony, Dr. Carel Richter said 2018 marks 45 years of our diplomatic relation between the Netherlands and Vietnam. There were already many activities to celebrate the friendship between our countries and this event also marks that celebration.
“Plastic is the biggest environmental challenge that we face today. If we do not change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050. We have to prevent plastic from entering our water, our food and even our body. The only long-term solution is the plastic reduce waste through more recycling and reuse – a challenge that citizens, businesses and governments need to face together”, he added.
“The good news is Vietnam has already developed a plan to deal with trash by 2025, which focuses on recycling. In the National Waste Management Strategy, the government has set goals of collecting and treating up to 90 percent of solid waste in urban areas, 85% of which will be recycled or reused to produce energy or organic fertilizer.”
“By 2050, the Dutch economy will be run completely on reusable raw materials. Various government, business and non-government organizations have signed a deal to realize a one hundred percent circular economy. Government funds have been set aside to improve waste separation, so that discarded products can be reused. As a result valuable raw materials will no longer be lost in landfill sites. At the same time, innovations will focus on improving the recycling capability of products. This transition will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs, while reducing waste, costs and emissions of greenhouse gasses. Together with the government, companies has contributed so many innovative solutions in dealing with plastics. For instance: retrieving ocean plastic and transforming it into yarn; turning used car tyres into valuable raw material (carbon black) and energy so many other examples that you will hear later on from innovative companies such as Upp! Cylcing, Wave Eco-Solutions, Impact and Reform.
The Netherlands Consulate General together with Dutch companies in Ho Chi Minh City will organize the Orange Asean Factory in March 2019. The OAF is to find sustainable solutions for case studies that companies has while doing business in Vietnam. A lot of the business cases is to work for a solution on how to deal with plastics in consumer goods packaging”, the Consul General of the Netherlands emphasized.
Deputy Director of DONRE Nguyen Thi Thanh My said HCMC has launched many programs to raise awareness on sustainable use of plastic among schools, shops, supermarkets and businesses and the city continues to popularize sustainable use of plastic to local citizens. “Rethink plastic Vietnam” is useful event through this event, we could learn/share smart solutions among other participants.
“Only by joining forces we can tackle this global threat that effects us all”, said Madeleine van Hasselt.
Many participants confirmed that we can all be part of the solution by taking action in our homes, companies and communities.
“All of us need to join our hands to preserve our beautiful environment. The Netherlands promote sustainable growth, international cooperation with sustainable solutions ensures that we look after the planet, both for ourselves and for future generations. The Netherlands are willing to share knowledge and experiences on dealing with plastics with Vietnamese partners as well as with other international players here”, concluded Dr. Carel Richter.