Unilever Vietnam and Central Retail Vietnam have jointly held the signing event for “The launching ceremony of the Strategic Cooperation project on Segregation of Plastic Waste at Source”, which marks a key milestone in bringing back plastics to production. The cooperation between the two is indicative of the mutually agreed commitment to facilitating collection and recycling of plastic waste to alleviate the burden caused to the environment, introduce the Circular Economy into life, contribute to the national plan for plastic waste management and enable the development of the recycling industry.
Management of plastic waste by raising public awareness and usage habits
For the time being, the public habit of segregating waste at source remains relatively low, which leads to the difficulties faced by the local recycling industry in Vietnam. Therefore, the actualization and enhancement of SAS remain one of the challenges faced by businesses, the government and the people alike that demands a synchronicity in implementation.
Faced with this situation, the strategic partnership between Unilever Vietnam and Central Vietnam Retail known as “Segregation of Plastic Waste at Source Cooperation” drives the focus towards the Circular Economy Model in plastic waste management in supermarkets in southern Vietnam (HCMC, Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces) as well as the launch of various communications and education programs on SAS, collection and recycling of plastic waste. In addition, the cooperation focuses on the optimization of the plastic waste resources collected through many partnerships, recycling and supplying PCR back to Unilever and others’ packaging.
The synergistic role played by each partner in establishing the Circular Economy effectively
Making the plastic circularity model more widespread calls for the participation of the people, local communities, governmental organizations and NGOs; waste collection organizations and informal waste collectors, who will join hands in sorting out, collecting and transferring waste to recyclers, thus establishing a sustainable collection-recycle system. In the next step, the participation of businesses in the production phase such as Unilever and Central Retail Vietnam will help disseminate the commitment more widely while directly approaching consumers, since they play an indispensable role in the majority of daily social activities.
With a network of more than 340 retailers and shopping centers across the country, welcoming on average 175,000 shoppers daily, in 2023, Central Retail Vietnam is the pioneering retail partner to have entered Unilever’s “Segregation of Plastic Waste at Source Cooperation” program on the scale of retailers in Vietnam. The cooperation has been implemented via joint communications and education activities conducted at Central Retail’s shopping centers and supermarkets in the south, with aims towards raising the public awareness about SAS.
Unilever’s plastic management strategy includes three main objectives with a focus on improving packaging materials to enhance recyclability, reducing the use of virgin plastics, increasing the collection and recycling of plastic waste in the market. Currently, Unilever Vietnam has achieved 63% recyclability and 52% virgin plastic reduction through absolute reduction and PCR inclusion in packaging manufacturing. Through many partnership programs, the company has collected and processed more than 20,000 tons of plastic waste, gradually moving towards the goal to collect and process more plastic than plastic packaging released in the market by 2025.
Through realistic action plans and collaboration with partners sharing the same value chain, Unilever Vietnam wants to contribute to Vietnam’s national goal of reducing plastic waste.