Plastic Pollution Challenge
Viet Nam currently has approximately 47,450 offshore and middle shore fishing vessels and about 300,000 fishermen in these waters. Since the vessels do not have plastic trash storage onboard, it is estimated that they dump about 1,400 tons of plastic waste at sea annually.
We provide a mini plastic squeezing machine and a mobile app for local fishermen to collect and convert plastic waste into necessary supplies for fishing activities. In the long run, the project is expected to reduce approximately 1,400 tons of plastic waste per year.
The plastic squeezing machine is made of saltwater resistant materials and designed to fit in tight spaces on fishing vessels. and. It is operated with an electrical system on-board, and helps to reduce the size of used plastic bottles on-board by about 90%.
Fishermen will bring back the plastic waste to the ports where they can exchange it, via a mobile app, for supplies for their next trips to sea, such as instant noodles, milk, mobile credit, shampoo, tooth paste, drinking water, cooking oil, etc.
The ultimate impact goals of the team include, but are not limited to: protect the ocean that is the habitat of fisheries resources; develop feasible mechanisms and policies for the collection of plastic waste from fishing vessels and exchange for goods.
Our goals contribute to the achievement of the SDGs:
SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth:
the exchange mechanism via a mobile app creates job opportunities for local people at local plastic collecting points/hubs, such as fishing ports, local fishermen associations, etc.
SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities:
the project is expected to reduce approximately 1,400 tons of plastic waste per year in the ocean if it is implemented and upscaled successfully in 28 coastal provinces of Viet Nam.
SDG 14 – Life Below Water:
the activities of the project also help to raise awareness of the local fishermen in controlling plastic waste, thereby contributing to protecting the marine environment.
Vessels with a mini squeezing machine installed will be eligible for the following exchange mechanism:
|5 kg of plastic waste =||1 200ml bottle of shampoo|
|1 box of milk|
|5 packets of instant noodle|
|1 ltr of cooking oil|
|1 mobile recharge of VND 20k|
|1 tube of toothpaste|
Typically, about 3-5 kg of plastic waste can be collected per fishing vessel per sea-trip of 7-25 days. With an average return of VND 2,000 per kg of plastic bottles, the model will not generate profit in the short term and will still need sponsors for the exchanged supplies (milk, instant noodles, etc.). Further, with an average price of VND 10 million for one squeezing machine, there is little incentive for local fishermen to purchase, given the low value of collected plastic waste. Therefore, support is also required from other stakeholders.
Our target markets are 28 coastal provinces in Viet Nam that have a large number of fishing vessel owners (about 47,450 in total).
Traction and Key Metrics
The project is in the conceptual phase. We have worked with different potential donors and have received positive feedback on project contribution proposals (i.e., sponsoring through their CSR budgets), such as with P&G for shampoo Vinsmart for smartphone provision, Rang Dong for light installations on vessels, and VIFEP for squeezing machines.
All Vietnamese fishing areas will be free of plastic waste with abundant fishery resources. All plastic waste from fishing activities will be collected, brought back to fishing ports and dealt with properly. Fish captured from the seas of Viet Nam will be safe and of high quality.
We aim to collect about 1,400 tons of plastic waste from offshore and middle shore fishing vessels in Viet Nam annually, and contribute to the blue ocean fish production.