Reduction of Plastic Waste
The current situation of plastic waste in Vietnam
Vietnam is among the top 5 countries that discharge plastic into the ocean, with a total of about 13 million tons of plastic waste being discharged into the ocean every year (According to the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam - EuroCham).
From Vietnam alone, it is estimated that the amount of plastic waste discharged into the sea each year has reached 0.28 - 0.73 million tons/year (accounting for nearly 6% of the total amount of plastic waste discharged into the world's sea). Vietnam is facing many risks from plastic waste, with a whopping amount of 1.8 million tons of plastic waste generated and the amount keeps increasing each day. In the world, on average, plastic bottles are sold every minute, and 500 billion plastic bags are consumed every year. In Vietnam, on average, each household uses about 1kg of plastic bags per month, especially in two big cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the average amount of plastic and nylon waste discharged into the environment is 80 tons per day.
(Photo: Giant landfill in East Java, Indonesia)
It is worth mentioning that the classification, collection and treatment of waste in Vietnam is still very limited. The amount of plastic waste and plastic bags in Vietnam accounts for about 8-12% of total domestic solid waste. In which, surprisingly, 10% of plastic waste and plastic bags are not reused but completely and directly disposed of into the environment. The yearly amount of plastic waste and plastic bags disposed of in Vietnam is approximately 2.5 million tons. This is a burden on the environment, seriously affecting the ecological environment and even human health.
Dangerous threats from "plastic" waste
A small plastic bag takes at least 100 years to decompose and even a small plastic bottle entails at least nearly 200 years to decompose. Where are millions of tons of plastic produced, consumed, and released into the environment every year, during their 100-200 years of waiting period before decomposition takes its course?
Plastic waste and non-biodegradable plastic bags are recycled at a nominal rate, most of which are buried, burned or left lying in the landfill. Part of it is released into the ocean, killing thousands of fish and marine life. Many tragic deaths of marine species resulting from swallowing plastic bottles, jars, and items. Or nylon bags act like a death trap with no way out, which has been taking the lives of many living creatures.
The other plastic waste and nylon bags "lay in wait" in landfills, polluting the environment. Landfilling and burning activities not only are unable to facilitate decomposition but also release toxic emissions that affect human health. The burial method pollutes water sources, killing beneficial microorganisms underground. Practice proves that farming activities on land full of garbage pollution also bring poor economic efficiency, and this has partly destroyed our living environment and natural environment.
Activities to reduce plastic waste at Ajinomoto Vietnam
Reducing plastic waste is one of the main goals at Ajinomoto Vietnam in environmental protection and social responsibility, starting with the following actions:
1. Implement the conversion of all multi-substance plastic packaging to single-substance plastic packaging for the achievement of the recycling mission and the goal of zero waste. This requirement is not only reflected in the upgrade of all packaging materials for products such as packaging, labels, lids... but even the direct packaging itself is required to be converted to recyclable materials.
2. The activity of plastic consumption reduction was launched in the company's activities such as reducing single-use plastic bottles and plastic bags.
Do not use plastic bottled drinking water (volume 330ml-500ml) in the office and when organizing meetings, conferences and seminars. Use reusable containers such as glass cups, large water bottles, or other containers with environmentally friendly materials (paper cups, glass cups, porcelain, etc.). Do not use plastic cups, plastic straws, minimize the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in company and offices. Strictly follow the 3R principle (Reduce - Reuse - Recycle)
Improvement for the use of larger, reusable bags of ingredients (dry powder)
3. Disseminate and raise awareness of all employees about the role of reducing plastic waste, the role of plastic waste classification, collection, and recycling (at work, at home and at public places)
4. Ajinomoto became a member of PROVN(*), committed to joining hands in building and developing a circulation system for product packaging materials; collect, classify and recycle waste (especially plastic waste)
(*) PROVN is the Vietnam Packaging Recycling Alliance established in 2019 in Ho Chi Minh City, including members who are leading FDI and Vietnamese companies in the fields of consumer goods, packaging production, retailing, and importing that share the same desire to promote a green, clean and beautiful Vietnam through the circular economy model by making the process of collecting and recycling product packaging more accessible and sustainable.