Waste arisings in Vietnam increased by 46 percent between 2010 and 2019, and with no requirement to recycle, the vast majority of secondary materials end up buried in dumpsites and landfills, or burned in incinerators. Recent legal changes aim to reinforce the extended producer responsibility of manufacturers and importers through recycling, as part of the country’s shift to a circular economy.
According to the World Bank, Vietnam is among the top four generators of plastic waste, at 280,000 tons per year. Growing urbanisation and a rising middle class has meant that the demand for plastics has grown rapidly, with an average Vietnamese using 41.3 kg plastics per year equivalent to 7,600 grocery bags. The government is working urgently to address the waste challenge and is implementing long-term plans and ambitious recycling targets.