HCM CITY (VNS) — Countries in Asia are drawing up plans to make the plastics industry sustainable, with a focus on plastic recycling, officials from regional plastic associations said at the 22nd Asia Plastics Forum held on Tuesday in HCM City.
|Customers visit a booth displaying new plastics technology at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre during a four-day International Plastics and Rubber Industry Exhibition in HCM City. The exhibition runs till Saturday. — VNA/VNS Photo The Anh
Callum Chen, secretary-general of the Asia Plastic Forum, said countries and government were putting in place environmental criteria for companies to adopt, including requirements on suppliers.
Chen said that sustainability actually helps build efficiency, minimise waste and maximise resources.
Incorporating sustainable measures in business can save money and enhance companies' reputation as well, he added.
A representative of the China Plastics Processing Industry Association pointed out that Chinese processing companies use a green low-carbon development model and emphasise a recycling economy, gradually reversing the investment – led growth model.
In China, recycled plastic waste, including imports, totalled 21, 884 million tonnes last year, accounting for one-third of the 66.14 million tonnes of synthetic resin consumption.
Recycling in China has enabled huge savings of raw materials and reduced crude-oil imports, as well as the volume of garbage landfill. It has also contributed to reductions in carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions.
At the conference, representatives of Malaysia and Viet Nam said the two countries had implemented reduce-reuse-recycle activities for sustainable environment programmes to help change the public's mindset and perception of the plastics industry.
The Malaysian Plastics Forum has worked with Waterfall Survivors, an environmental NGO, on an anti-litter campaign at selected shopping malls and streets in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, as well as other major cities.
The Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association's branch in Johur recently pledged keeping the environment clean by saying "no" to litter.
Viet Nam instead has focused on plastic-waste collection and classification. According to the Waste Recycling Fund, plastic is the leading recycle industry (80 per cent) in the country, followed by paper, metal and glass.
In HCM City, 274 recycling shops are located in households and small industrial areas. There are 11 recycling factories in industrial zones.
Ho Thi Kim Thoa, deputy minister of Industry and Trade, said the plastics industry played an important role in ASEAN, posting a stable average annual growth of 9 per cent.
In Viet Nam, the industry has registered an annual growth rate of 15-20 per cent in recent years. It aims for a 17.5 per cent growth rate by 2020. — VNS