Contest seeks innovative solutions to recycle plastic

Hanoi: The innovative solution contest 2024 was launched in Hanoi on April 12, aiming to seek solutions in the plastic circular value chain, especially new and creative solutions in improving the capacity to collect, process and recycle plastic packaging. The contest, jointly held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Unilever Vietnam, the British Chamber of Commerce Vietnam, the Startup Vietnam Foundation, the British Embassy in Vietnam and the Standard Chartered Bank, is expected to encourage, promote and invest in new initiatives and solutions on collecting, sorting and recycling plastic packaging waste suitable for the Vietnamese market. Its further goal is to promote the circular economic model in plastic waste management, supporting the implementation of regulations on product and packaging recycling responsibilities of manufacturers and importers. Taking place from April to August, the contest is for individuals and organisations with products, services or technology in the field of plastic waste collection and recycling. Within the framework of the contest a discussion on unlocking the plastic circular economy through innovation will be held. Addressing the launching ceremony, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Quy Kien emphasised that Vietnam faces many risks from plastic waste. The volume of plastic waste and plastic packaging is increasing rapidly, coupled with socioeconomic development and consumption activities. The contest is a practical action to seek, honour and invest in innovative and creative initiatives in sorting, collecting and recycling plastic packaging waste, especially soft, low-value plastics in Vietnam, he said. The Deputy Minister called on organisations, individuals and businesses, especially startups to join the contest, and asked for investment and support from financial institutions for initiatives and solutions found through the contest to be deployed and replicated in Vietnam. A report released by the International Finance Corporatio n and the World Bank showed that every year in Vietnam, about 2.62 million tonnes of plastic waste is not recycled, leading to a loss of 75% of the material value of plastic, equivalent to 2.2 - 2.9 billion USD per year. The recycling industry in Vietnam has rich raw material sources but has not yet developed, with the plastic recycling rate only reaching 33%. The cost of recycled products is about 25-30% higher than conventional plastic products, it said./. Source: Vietnam News Agency

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