IFC & WB: Nearly 70% or 2.62 million tons of plastics disposed of annually, causing up to US$2.9 billion loss in Vietnam


That is one of the findings in a recent study entitled “Market Study for Vietnam: Plastics Circularity Opportunities and Barriers” of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank (WB), published at the end of September 2021. The study used the method of the plastics value chain to assess the plastics recycling industry and its role in supporting a circular economy in Vietnam. Two tools of Material Flow Analysis and Material Value Loss Analysis were applied to evaluate Vietnam’s current plastics circularity situation for each resin. Four key resins of this study are Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), and Polypropylene (PP). The reference year is 2019. The study was conducted from September 2020 to March 2021.

The major findings of the study are: (1) only 33% of the key plastic resins were recycled in Vietnam in 2019, (2) about 2.62 million tons of plastics are annually discharged, leading to a loss of 75% loss of the material value of plastics or equal to US$2.2 billion to US$2.9 billion, and (3) a market failure for plastics recycling caused by some structure challenges results in substantial material value loss every year.

Recommendations of interventions are shown in the following table:

“Recommendation interventions and their impact on increasing CRF rate and value yields”. CFR: Collected For Recycling, LEP: revised Law on Environmental Protection. Source: Report “Market Study for Vietnam: Plastics Circularity Opportunities and Barriers”, page 112: https://www.ifc.org

The report is available as follows:
Executive summary in Vietnamese, 10 pages
Full report in English, 116 pages with annex, 102 pages.

Sources & further information: “Inefficient plastics recycling costs Vietnam up to $2.9 bln a year” at https://e.vnexpress.net, “Lãng phí gần 3 tỷ USD mỗi năm vì không tái chế rác thải nhựa” at https://vnexpress.net, and “Market Study for Vietnam: Plastics Circularity Opportunities and Barriers” at https://www.ifc.org, accessed on 5 October 2021.