Vietnam has a growing waste management crisis. Rapid economic growth, urbanisation and changed lifestyles have increased solid waste, with an estimated 15% in urban and 45-60% in rural areas not collected, and only 10% recovered for recycling or reuse. Domestic solid waste generated nationwide averages 61,000 Tons/day (22.3 MTons/year) with 71% dumped in landfills. Further, total waste is expected to increase by 100% in less than 15 years. This leakage into the environment, especially plastics are major pollutants on land, water and air affecting human health and causing ecological damage. At the same time, sustainable development opportunities exist. Studies indicate that achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.4 (responsible chemical and waste management) is a low-risk strategy for achieving national progress on many of the SDGs.
With mounting global pressure and increased public interest, progress against plastic waste gained momentum in Vietnam with important results. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made a landmark announcement, banning single-use plastic products by 2025, and other initiatives including a review of plastic waste policies. He welcomed the establishment of a coalition of businesses to resolve the plastic waste challenge. Announcements also indicated Vietnam will end plastic scrap imports from 2025. GreenHub leveraged this momentum by leading new waste assessments in communities, business, education and tourism enterprises, strengthening waste networks and advocacy.