|The MM Mega Market Vietnam Company Limited and Tetrapak Company Limited are implementing a paper box packaging collection and recycling program|
The revised 2020 Law on Environmental Protection sets out the basic principle of the EPR mechanism, placing responsibility on manufacturers for recycling used packaging at the compulsory rate based on volume or product packaging unit and for compliance with mandatory recycling specifications. Manufacturers can organize the recycling themselves or contribute financially to the Vietnam Environment Protection Fund (VEPF) to support the recycling of their waste.
Six commodity groups are expected to be subject to the EPR mechanism, including (1) batteries and accumulators, (2) electricity and electronics; (3) tyre and tube, (4) lubricants, (5) cars and motorcycles, (6) packaging. According to Rui Ludovino, First Counselor of the European Union Delegation to Vietnam, the cornerstone of EU policy is to mobilize businesses to participate in the circular economy, the economic model using and managing natural resources efficiently and sustainably according to the 3Rs principle (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle).
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) in cooperation with the EU and the French international cooperation agency, Expertise France, held a first-of-its-kind workshop last year on extended producer responsibility (EPR) in packaging waste management.
Phan Tuan Hung, Director of the MoNRE Department of Legislation, affirmed the EPR mechanism helps strengthen financial flows and multilateral cooperation, increasing the rate of waste recycling as an important foundation for the circular economy. The department is working closely with relevant units, especially manufacturers and recyclers, to develop practical, effective and feasible EPR regulations on solid waste management, especially plastic waste in Vietnam.
At the workshop, the consultants shared their research on the informal sector's recycling collection system in Vietnam and the possibility of integrating this system into the EPR mechanism.
According to Dr. Fanny Quertamp, Manager of Rethinking Plastics project in Vietnam, the informal and semi-formal sector are the backbone of the collection, sorting and recycling value chain in Vietnam. In order to improve packaging waste management, it is necessary to facilitate exchange and increase understanding between consumer goods manufacturers, recyclers and informal sector workers, she added. The MoNRE will continue to consult relevant units on the EPR mechanism and its development process.
According to the plan, a decree detailing the EPL will be submitted to the Government for consideration and promulgation by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in October 2021 to take effect on January 1, 2022 with the 2020 Law on Environmental Protection.
ERP is an environmental policy approach in which the manufacturer's responsibility for a product is extended to the
garbage stage. ERP requires manufacturers to take responsibility for managing products after they become waste,
reducing the cost of managing products towards the end of their life cycle by reducing waste and increasing recycling.
Moreover, ERP is expected to provide economic opportunities as well as opportunities to share the financial burden of
solid waste management in Vietnam, including plastic packaging waste that is not collected and recycled and
becomes marine waste.
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