|The programme aims to collect and completely recycle 3,000 tonnes of beverage cartons, turning them into useful products such as paperboard materials and bio-roof panels. — Photo courtesy of Tetra Pak|
HCM CITY — A programme to collect and recycle used beverage cartons will be piloted in HCM City from August 2022 to March 2023.
The programme aims to collect and completely recycle 3,000 tonnes of beverage cartons, turning them into useful products such as paperboard materials and bio-roof panels.
Evolving from the model of collecting cartons through informal waste collectors, initiated in 2010 by Swedish food processing and packaging solutions company Tetra Pak, the pilot programme will be implemented under a partnership between the Packaging Recycling Organisation Vietnam (PRO), Tetra Pak and Circular Action.
“Driving the collection of used beverage cartons for recycling has always been at the core of Tetra Pak’s sustainability agenda. It is a crucial part of Tetra Pak’s long-standing efforts in realising its promise to protect what’s good, including protecting food, people and the planet,” said Eliseo Barcas, Managing Director of Tetra Pak Vietnam.
“This programme reflects Tetra Pak’s commitment to supporting its customers in fulfilling their producer’s responsibility to collect product packaging after the sale.”
The difference between this pilot programme and previous activities is the sponsorship of PRO Vietnam and the application of digital solutions from Circular Action to manage carton collection.
“We appreciate the initiative, the model and the effectiveness of the collection and recycling of used beverage cartons (UBC) by Tetra Pak – one of our core members. We want to collaborate to execute this pilot project with the common goal of establishing a new model in UBC collection for recycling. This initiative faces challenges in practice, supporting the informal sector in this value chain and building the circular economy in Việt Nam,” said Phạm Phú Ngọc Trai, Chairman of PRO Vietnam.
The pilot programme is remarkable because it helps build awareness and encourages collectors actively participating in the community to collect cartons at the source.
Selling used cartons to recyclers will also improve the commercial value of this kind of waste. Meanwhile, collectors will also receive a financial incentive based on the volume of cartons they collect.
Through this model, the programme hopes to build an ecosystem of collecting and recycling cartons from the beginning of the collection chain to include those who gather the waste.
This will help improve the collection and recycling rate and reduce the number of cartons discharged into the environment, moving towards a circular economy.
In addition, it also improves the livelihoods of collectors participating in the programme.
Three aggregators, including Lagom Vietnam, Tiến Thành Paper and VECA, have confirmed their participation in the programme. These aggregators will purchase used beverage cartons from the informal sector and sell them to Đồng Tiến Paper Factory in Bình Dương Province.
Here, used beverage cartons will be recycled into valuable products such as industrial wrapping paper, eco-roofing and eco-flat sheets. The project aims to approach and engage more aggregators, thereby increasing the programme coverage and collection volume.
Consultant and project manager Thierry Sanders, President of Circular Action, said: “This pilot project brings a triple dividend to Việt Nam. Firstly, it reduces waste disposed of in the environment or landfills. Secondly, it increases the income of the informal collectors and, thirdly, it is efficient since we pay on delivery. Later in the programme, we will reintroduce our mobile technology to pay the poorest collectors involved in the supply chain directly.” — VNS