Zero Waste to Mekong River project launched
In accordance with Prime Ministerial Decision 1746/QD-TTg dated December 4 on the National Action Plan for ocean plastic waste management until 2030, the overall goal of the action plan aims to: (i) Implement Vietnam's initiatives and international commitments to solve plastic waste issue focusing on ocean plastic waste, ensuring the prevention of plastic waste disposal from waste sources on land and activities at sea; (ii) Endeavour to make Vietnam a pioneer in the region in reducing ocean waste.
|A floating market in Can Tho City|
Can Tho City is a poetic river tourism destination and is facing a waste pollution issue, especially plastic waste. In order to make Can Tho to be a civilized and clean city, over the past years, the city has developed initiatives to promote waste collection and segregation at source. Among those efforts, the project “Zero Waste to Mekong River: Pilot Circular Economy model for Floating markets in Can Tho” was approved by the concerned authorities in March 2022. Accordingly, this project is funded by Dow Chemical Vietnam LLC (Dow Vietnam) and implemented by Center for Supporting Green Development (GreenHub) and Research Center for Resources and Rural Development (RECERD) with the support and joint efforts of Can Tho People's Committee, Can Tho Department of Natural Resources and Environment and local authorities in Binh Thuy and Cai Rang districts.
On May 18, 2022, in Can Tho City, Can Tho Department of Natural Resources and Environment in collaboration with GreenHub and RECERD, held the Launching Ceremony of the Project Zero Waste to Mekong River: Pilot Circular Economy model for Floating markets in Can Tho sponsored by Dow Vietnam, aiming at raising people's and community's awareness on environmental protection. The ceremony took place with the participation of representatives of relevant departments in Can Tho City, local government agencies in Can Tho City, Dow Vietnam Leaders, GreenHub and RECERD.
Notably, within the framework of the event, representatives of the parties including: the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Can Tho City, People's Committee of Binh Thuy District, People's Committee of Cai Rang District, Dow Vietnam, and GreenHub signed a Memorandum of Understanding, officially starting the project and creating a solid foundation for close and long-term cooperation to advance circular economy and reduce waste on the Mekong River in Can Tho.
At the kick-off ceremony, Ms. Cao Thi Minh Thao, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Can Tho City, said, "The project "Zero Waste to Mekong River: Pilot Circular Economy model for Floating markets in Can Tho", will be implemented at Son Holme and Cai Rang floating market of Can Tho city. The main objectives of the project are to promote circular economy, reduce waste from rivers into the sea and create behaviour change in waste management of local communities; strengthen waste collection, segregation at source, reuse and recycling activities. The project's activities will help Can Tho city raise the community's awareness of environmental protection, improve the quality of the environment in Cai Rang Floating Market, Son Holme, one of the tourist attraction places of the city. This is also a meaningful project in the cooperation activities, joint efforts to protect the environment of Vietnam - the US, opening a long-term cooperation activities between Can Tho city and Dow Vietnam, and Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations.”
Mr. Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, President of Dow Vietnam, said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with Can Tho City People’s Committee, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, local district authorities and concerned stakeholders to implement this project. As a sponsor of the project, we strongly believe that the results and key learnings of this project would be best practices for the implementation of Environmental Protection Law and the ongoing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) mechanism. Significantly, the project outcomes would contribute to the Vietnamese government's targets to reduce 50 percent and 75 percent of ocean plastics waste by 2025 and 2030, respectively in the National Action Plan for Ocean Plastic Waste Management to 2030.”
Through waste management from the main sources of waste discharged into the Mekong River in Can Tho, the project will advance a Circular Economy Pilot Model in Vietnam, reduce waste from rivers into the sea by conducting behaviour change education and segregating at source to improve the waste management for local communities living on and along the river. The project will also contribute to improving the living conditions and preserving the ecosystem by reducing about 300-400 tonnes of waste per year in the Mekong River and directly helping the lives of more than 150,000 people (15 communities) living in 02 districts where the project will be implemented at Binh Thuy District and Cai Rang District. In addition, this is also a key project of the Public-Private Collaboration towards circular economy in plastic waste management that Dow Vietnam in together with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and other companies established in 2020.