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Plastic and Health Action Partnership to address Vietnam’s environment challenges
Phi Khanh 13:01, 2021/12/18
Connecting networks and initiatives on plastic and health will help mobilizing technical and financial resources, policies related to plastic and health issues.

The launching ceremony of “Plastic and Health Action Partnership” (PHA) was held in Hanoi on December 17, as one of the starting actions in the progress of the Local Solution for Plastic Pollution (LSPP) project.

 An overview of the ceremony. Photo: GreenHub

The project is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Center for Supporting Green Development (GreenHub) cooperating with three other partners (ISPONRE, VOHUN, Gimasys). 

It is estimated that Vietnam dumps 25 million tons of solid domestic waste each year, and 10-20% of them are plastic products (nearly 2,5 to 5 million tons of plastic waste annually). The percentage of plastic waste and single-use nylon bags in Vietnam's urban areas has rapidly increased, accounting for 10% to 20% of domestic solid waste. 

In Hanoi, the proportion of plastic waste accounts for nearly 12-18%, of which only films and plastic bags account for 10- 15%. Using single-use plastic has been causing a huge harm to human health and the environment. 

In order to resolve plastic waste related issues, many stakeholders have taken action such as National Plastics Action Partnership Program (NPAP), Vietnam Zero Waste Alliance (VZWA), Office of Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN). Connecting networks and initiatives on plastic and health will help mobilizing technical and financial resources, sharing implementation experiences, and contributing to enhancing the effectiveness of initiatives. The partnership establishment is a reasonable unified plan to synthesize and offer the most effective proposals. 

Nguyen Trung Thang, Deputy Director of Institute of Strategy and Policy On Natural Resources and Environment said solving plastic pollution problems requires much effort and involves the joint actions by different parties such as the government bodies, international organizations, NGOs, research institutes, universities and most of all businesses. 

“By establishing the PHA, this can be considered as an opportunity to garner the participation of all related parties to help reducing the harm of plastic pollution to human health,” he underlined.

Christine Gandomi, Acting Director of the Office of Environment and Energy hoped that the creation of the PHA will mark the beginning of a new era of collaboration, exchange of knowledge and good practices around plastics pollution challenges. 

“The PHA will be among the first partnerships focusing on plastic and its impacts on human health. These exchanges and dialogue will help us address together pressing development challenges in Vietnam,” she said. 

On his business side, Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, General manager of Dow Vietnam, said: “We are proud to be one of the established partners of the Plastic Health Action partnership, which connects all parties to work  together and solve the plastic waste  problems in Vietnam.”

At the ceremony, representatives from the Partnership discussed and shared their opinion on issues such as: knowledge, data, evidences on the linkage between plastic waste and health, some examples of waste management policies in Vietnam. They also emphasized cooperation as an effective solution for plastic waste related health issues. 

The PHA has mobilized the participation of 18 organizations in Vietnam so far including international organizations, government, NGOs, research institutes, universities. 

The PHA will support local departments and localities across the country to proceed activities in policy advocacy related to plastic and health, as well as build and operate data center, communication activities, raise the awareness about the relationship between plastic and health, deploy pilot models in order to reduce plastic pollution in localities across the country. 

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