Norwegian project to reduce ocean plastic waste launched

Update: October, 05/2019 - 09:00


A Norwegian project is being launched to promote the usage of plastic waste as a source of energy for energy intensive industries, reducing ocean waste and improving energy efficiency. - VNA Photo Nguyễn Thành

HCM CITY - The Ocean Plastic Turned into an Opportunity in Circular Economy project was launched yesterday in HCM City to reduce plastic waste in the ocean and the industrial use of coal.

It is funded by the Norwegian Government.

Dr. Kare Helge Karstensen, chief scientist and programme manager of the project, said: "[It] aims to investigate how the involvement of resources and energy intensive industries like cement manufacturing can increase the capacity for non-recyclable plastic wastes."

The collection and treatment of plastic waste are not very effective in Việt Nam, and the project can provide incentives to the private industry in collecting and treating plastic wastes, reducing their coal consumption and costs, he said. 

A Waste Management Department official said there was limited segregation of plastic waste, and low-value and recyclable wastes are typically discharged into the environment.

Single use plastic items and plastic bags, which decompose slowly, are problematic, he said.

Grete Lochen, the Norwegian ambassador to Hà Nội, said plastic wastes are made from fossil fuel and thus can create more energy than coal, and recycling them would reduce the amount of plastic dumped in the ocean and the emission of greenhouse gases.

The project will be carried out in co-ordination with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's Việt Nam Environment Administration and various other agencies, international and local organisations and private businesses.

It will push for public-private-partnerships in the collection of plastic waste and its usage in cement plants.  

Factories taking part in this project can receive training in and assistance with co-processing, which could reduce their coal consumption by using waste and non-recyclable plastic while being more energy efficient.

This technique does not produce residues that need to be disposed, thus also saving waste processing costs.

The project will be carried out in five countries, the other four being China, India, Myanmar, and Thailand. Its pilot phase is expected to start at the end of this year.

Việt Nam is the world's fourth largest country in terms of discharging plastic wastes into the ocean, with its annual contribution being around 700,000 tonnes. - VNS

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