Significant role of informal waste workers in waste management system in Vietnam


This was the highlight of the workshop “Lessons learned from pilot projects working with women informal waste workers in Viet Nam”, co-organized by the project “Rethinking Plastics” of the Europe Union – German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (EU-BMZ) and UNDP on 14th April in Bình Định. Accordingly, more than 30% of the (solid) waste in Vietnam is collected through the informal sector, considerably contributing to the value chain of waste management. Therefore, it requires knowledge of the role and needs of informal networks to integrate their potential into the national and international policy frameworks for the waste management system in Vietnam. More specifically, the newly issued Decree No. 08/2022/NĐ-CP includes chapters on waste management, Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR), and the circular economy roadmap.

The EPR compliance for packaging is obligatory in 2024. This will create both opportunities and challenges for waste collectors, says Fanny Quertamp, senior advisor Vietnam from the project “Rethinking Plastics”. Mechanisms were therefore discussed to promote “the systematic collection of grassroots initiatives and strengthen their uptake at the policy level, and collaborate with other organizations to enhance the livelihoods of waste workers and recognize their critical roles in the transition towards a circular economy in Viet Nam”.

The importance of informal waste workers was also acknowledged in one of the environmental resolutions of the world’s ministers of the environment at the United Nations Environment Assembly on 2nd March 2022.

Sources & further information: “Lessons Learned from Pilot Projects Working with Women Informal Waste Workers in Viet Nam” at, “Informal female workers key to waste management” at, and “Highlight the role of informal networks in the waste management systems in Viet Nam” at, accessed 18 April 2022.