PepsiCo Vietnam and its partners, the Center of Education and Development (CED) and National Economics University (NEU), have just kicked off the “Increase awareness in plastic waste management” initiative which aims to improve the efficiency of waste management and reduce the amount of plastic waste discharged into the environment.
The program will be implemented by the Center for Education and Development (CED) in collaboration with partners in Vietnam and will last two years. As part of this comprehensive initiative, the partners plan to train 60 young Vietnamese environmental leaders. These activities aim to strengthen plastic recycling education in communities, enhance young people’s awareness of single-use plastic waste and inspire more sustainable behavior changes, particularly in collecting and treatment.
The project is funded by PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo Inc., one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies and is part of PepsiCo’s global approach to support the development of a circular economy and make progress towards the company’s vision of a world where plastics need never become waste.
The launch event welcomed the participation of preeminent environmental experts, 35 young environmental leaders and 150 students from the National Economics University. The plastic waste management training program will take place on November 6 and 7. Young environmental leaders will be equipped with leadership skills, community organization skills, and knowledge of plastic waste management and environmental protection.
The training program for young environmental leaders reflects the key goal of the “plastic waste management” to raise public awareness in collecting and recycling with the main targeted audiences: students and the small and medium business community.
Every year, Vietnam discharges about 1.8 million tons of plastic waste, among the 20 largest waste countries, and is higher than the world average by 10% due to inadequate management and treatment of plastic waste. As plastic pollution continues to rise in the country, the Government has taken actions to reduce pollution from plastic waste.
The project has also established a network of Environmental Leaders from five areas: Hanoi, Da Nang, Phu Yen – Khanh Hoa, Ho Chi Minh, An Giang – Can Tho. As many as 60 young people, from 18 to 25 years old, have been selected to join the project. The Environmental Leaders are the core force to implement the educational activities in schools and communities.
The “Increase awareness in plastic waste management” project is expected to achieve the following positive outcomes:
• 60 youth leaders supporting campaigns and the roadshow on World Environment Day at 30 secondary and high schools across Vietnam for 24,000 school students;
• Supporting campaigns and roadshow on World Environment Day at five universities for 500 university students;
• Organizing eight public exhibits in eight schools in addition to three regional science fairs and exhibits in Hanoi in the northern region, Khanh Hoa, Da Nang in the central region and Can Tho, An Giang and HCM City in the southern region.
The project also entails collaboration with the private sector to look for innovative solutions to keep plastic in a closed loop, where plastic packaging can be reusable, recyclable or compostable to limit impact to the environment. Within the framework of the program, a seminar between policy makers, a Government agency and 50 packaging companies has been held to discuss changing technology or alternative materials, recycling solutions and related policies.
100 enterprises have also been gathered in another seminar to be shared on the impact of plastic waste and ways to reduce, collect and recycle … in businesses and in daily activities. It is one of objectives of the “Increase awareness in plastic waste management” project, to raise awareness of small and medium enterprises on plastic waste management and the new upcoming protection law.
“PepsiCo envisions a world where plastics need never become waste. We have strong global commitments to achieve our sustainable packaging goals by 2025, in which PepsiCo aims to design 100% of our packaging to be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable; increase recycled content to 25% in our plastic packaging, and reduce virgin plastic across beverage portfolio by 35%,” said Mr. Sudipto Mozumdar, General Manager of PepsiCo Vietnam.
Ms. To Kim Lien, CED Director, shared: “In addition to increase awareness among youth and youth leaders, CED aims to work with companies to bring awareness to the growing issue of plastic pollution and encourage companies to work towards reducing this, through workshops to educate companies and their employees; Partner with business associations to help companies change technologies and/or create innovative alternatives to packing to reduce and reuse plastic waste in this sector; and Create a dialogue between the government and companies”.