Plastic Waste and Circular Economy Workshop

Last Friday, the Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC) project collaborated with the ASEAN-Norwegian cooperation project on local capacity building for reducing plastic pollution in the ASEAN region (ASEANO project) to organise a workshop on plastic waste and circular economy. The workshop also provided a space for participants to discuss on the issue of marine plastic, waste management, and how to cooperate towards a common goal of circular economy.

Mr. Nguyen Que Lam, Deputy Director-General of Viet Nam Administration for Seas and Islands (VASI), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE)/ Viet Nam National Focal Point of ASEAN Cooperation on Coastal and Marine Environment

After an opening remarks by Mr. Nguyen Que Lam, Deputy Director-General of Viet Nam Administration for Seas and Islands (VASI), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE)/ Viet Nam National Focal Point of ASEAN Cooperation on Coastal and Marine Environment (AWGCME), the workshop continued with two sessions.

The first session focused on “Circular Economy: Lesson-Learned from International Practices”, with five presentations from experts in the field in the region.

  1. “Introduction of Viet Nam National Plastic Action Partnership – NPAP: our networks and roles in plastic waste management in Viet Nam and in the region” – Dr. Trinh Thai Ha, Manager Global Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP)
  2. “Source to Sea Solutions and the Circular Plastics Economy: Opportunities and Approaches” – Ms. Deborah Robertson, Environment Specialist, Asian Development Bank (ADB)     
  3. “ASEAN innovation in tackling plastic waste and Viet Nam initiative on Circular Economy Hub” – Ms. Morgane Rivoal, Climate Change and Circular Economy Officer, UNDP Viet Nam
  4. “Circular Economy in Scandinavian Countries” – Dr. Valentina Tartiu, NIVA
  5. “Circular Economy in Indonesia” – Mr. Arisman, Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS)

The second session included four presentations on “Circular Economy Implementation in Reducing Plastic Pollution in Viet Nam”.

  1. “Current situation and management policy according to the plastic life cycle in Viet Nam” – MSc. Nguyen Ngoc Son, Vice Director, Department of Seas and Islands Resources control and protection, VASI
  2. “Overview of policies, laws and circular economy in Viet Nam, some recommendations for improvement” – Mr. Nguyen Thi, Department of Legal Affairs, MONRE  
  3. Food and beverage packaging in a circular economy” – Mr. Nguyen Dinh Tho, Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment, MONRE
  4. “Roadmap for plastic circular economy implementation in Viet Nam” – Assoc. Prof. Dr.  Nguyen Hong Quan, Institute for Circular Economy Development (ICED), Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh city (VNU – HCM)

Screenshots of some presentations during the workshop

Innovation plays an important part in tackling plastic pollution, especially ones that could be scaled up and applied cross-region. Therefore, organizing a competition like EPPIC (Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge) to build a portfolio of inclusive innovative solutions to the plastic problems are crucial. Ms. Morgane Rivoal (UNDP Viet Nam) shared some tips and lessons that UNDP learned from implementing EPPIC 2020, to help with other similar competition in ASEAN countries. The “15 lessons learned from running an innovation competition to tackle plastic pollution in ASEAN region” on UNDP website (Click here to download), e.g. resonating with local contexts, designing as a portfolio, investing in the incubation programme, nurturing a supporting ecosystem, de-risking innovations and catalysing finance. She also introduced the Viet Nam Circular Economy Hub, an initiative co-established by Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) and UNDP Viet Nam, which served as a common platform to share knowledge and enhance discussion and partnership towards a circular economy in Viet Nam.

Joining the workshop was nearly 70 participants representing different agencies of the Vietnamese MONRE, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Planning and Investments, Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Indonesian Centre for South East Asian Studies, Vietnamese universities, etc.

ASEANO is a collaborative project between ASEAN and Norway seeking to build knowledge and capacity regarding plastic waste in the ASEAN region.

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