5 Dec 2019 - Vietnam generates large amounts of waste every day but there is growing awareness and entrepreneurship in zero-waste businesses as Vietnamese people, particularly youngsters, are becoming more aware of the environmental issues facing the country.
The total volume of waste each year in the country comes to about 25.5 million tonnes, of which 75 percent goes into landfills. Vietnam is among the top four generators of plasticwaste, at 280,000 tonnes per year, and over 70 percent is buried, according to a World Bank report.
A group of specialists from the Vietnam Environment Administration estimated that municipal solidwaste increases by 10 – 16 percent each year. Several landfill sites in majorcities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang are already overloaded,affecting local lives.
Waste also represents aneconomic loss and burden on society. Hanoi and HCM City have to spend around1.2 – 1.5 trillion VND (52 – 65 million USD) a year, or 3.5 percent of their budgets, on collecting and treating waste.
Growing awareness breeds entrepreneurship in zero-waste business
Vietnamese people, particularly youngsters, are becoming more aware of the environmental issues facing the country.
They have lately thrown thespotlight on the detrimental impact plastic waste has on Vietnam’s image and engaged in various social trends to help reduce the damage done to the environment, from boycotting single use containers to switching to bamboo straws. Many of them have started to weigh the environmental impacts of aproduct rather than just purchasing it for convenience.
“There is growing awareness among people that businesses have responsibilities towards societyand the environment, beyond just voluntary acts of kindness,” said UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Sitara Syed at the Blue Swallows 2019 Forum, which recognised business initiatives aimed at tackling social and environmentalissues, in Hanoi in October.
She cited a study by Nielsen as saying that Vietnamese consumers are the most socially-conscious in Southeast Asia, with 86 percent of respondents from Vietnam willing to pay extra to companies who are committed to positive social and environmental impacts.
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