Thai players get set for circular economy in Vietnam

By Mai Anh - Dec 10, 2022 | 09:05 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERUsing international experiences, lots of Thailand’s large enterprises have joined more in Vietnam’s projects based on circular economy model.

In the middle of this year, Communication Centre for Environmental Resources (CCER) of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and some businesses in the aluminium can production and recycling chain signed an MoU on implementing a can-to-can closed recycling project. It aims to recycle used aluminium cans into new ones.

The group of businesses includes TBC-BALL Vietnam – affiliate of Thai Beverage Can Limited, Lagom Vietnam JSC, and Thailand’s UACJ and Anglo Asia.

CCER deputy director Vu Minh Ly said that the project was an interesting demonstration of the circular economy model, a strategy that can contribute to Vietnam’s implementation of its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

It aims to collect 620 tonnes of used cans in a year, equivalent to 50 million used beverage cans in Ho Chi Minh City. Lagom Vietnam is in charge of handling the collection, Lagom of collecting at restaurants before sending them to Anglo Asia Group in Thailand for processing.

After that, UACJ will manufacture the aluminium can sheet, and eventually send it to TBC-Ball Beverage Can to produce the next generation of aluminium beverage cans from the same metal.

Another business from Thailand is Central Retail Group, which owns the Nguyen Kim electronics supermarket chain, Go! retail supermarket, has been also taking active steps to establish a circular economy model in Vietnam.

Thailand’s players get set for circular economy in Vietnam
Shoppers are surprised when seeing vegetables wrapped up in banana leaves or contained in bagasse trays at Tops Market.

At the kick-off conference on National Action Plan on Circular Economy 2022, Jariya Chirathivat – chairwoman and legal representative of Central Retail in Vietnam, shared information about some initiatives for the implementation of the circular economy.

“With Food Waste and Food loss management model successfully applied in Thailand, we do hope to implement it in Vietnam as well. This not only conveys the message of sustainable consumption and production and emissions reduction from only our business but it will go to our individual customers and eventually to the local’s end. With a simple action every day, we will join hands to protect the environment,” she said.

Joining the panel speaker on the theme of “Circular in Community”, she shared the environmental protection and sustainable development initiative that has been successfully implemented in Thailand – the circular economy model “Samui Zero Waste” aiming to tackle environmental problems on Koh Samui through the Creating Share Value (CSV) principle.

The scope of this model includes initial waste separation at the source to enable benefits from waste, inclusive of creating bio-fertilizers (composters) for farmers within the community, and biogas by-products are utilized to replace LPG in schools and colleges.

This would serve as the guidance for Central Retail in Vietnam building its CE model applied for food retail chain stores shortly, thereby realizing its vision of “contributing to Vietnam’s prosperity and improving the quality of life of the people.”

Since being acknowledged as a member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, Central Retail Vietnam has constantly been striving to fulfill its role of an active member of the alliance by implementing various meaningful environment-driven activities. For example, it sold reusable Lohas bags at a non-profit price and encouraging consumers to bring this bag when shopping.

SCG Group, a member of Packaging Recycling Organization Vietnam (PRO Vietnam), which owns 70 per cent of shares of Duy Tan Plastics, is also one of the active units with the trend of sustainable development and circular economy in Vietnam.

Two member companies of SCG, Vina Kraft Paper Co., Ltd. (VKPC) and SCG Concrete Roof (CRVC), have been awarded as Top 100 Sustainable Companies in 2022. Regarding environmental standards, SCG’s member companies orient their business toward sustainable best practices and become role models in their respective businesses.

For instance, embracing the notion of restoration to reduce all negative impacts of production activities on the environment, ecosystem and human health, VKPC was among the first to apply circular economy principles in the packaging industry production process, including a recycled water treatment system.

In addition, VKPC also recovers methane from the wastewater treatment system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and upcycling fly ash from the boiler turns to raw materials to produce construction bricks.

SCG has also committed to reducing GHG emissions to net-zero by 2050.

Accordingly, SCG has constructed and implemented a detailed plan with realistic milestones toward not adding to the total amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by the year 2050 to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

The plan will facilitate SCG’s innovation and operation in all of its worldwide activities in the years to come as one of the leading conglomerates in the region, especially in sustainable development.

As an leading agricultural production enterprise, C.P. Group with C.P. Foods in Vietnam has been making strides to transform the production model to cycle, contributing to ensuring the country’s sustainable food security.

In its factories, there is increasing the use of renewable energy, biogas. The previous wastes were only discarded, but now has been recycle to bring new value, reduce waste, reduce resource loss.

Sirapassorn Sagulwiwat, assistant vice president of CPF Sustainable Development Department, said that the waste at the end of this process will be an input material for another process while creating more jobs for workers, helping the vulnerable in society.

She added realizing this, the C.P. has been and will take actions to reduce the lack of carbon footprint and human plastic footprint. Specifically, the group has minimized the use of plastic bags, conducted studies on operations on farms on waste treatment control, used appropriate paper bins and applied C.P's experience in countries around the world to Vietnam.

Regarding the issue of sustainable packaging, the representative of C.P said that in order to minimize 50,000 tons of plastic bags from year to year, the group from Thailand has made changes in product design, packaging and raw materials according to the principle of taking advantage of compostable materials.

According to the C.P.'s target of 2030, 100 per cent of C.P.'s packaging will be recyclable for reuse and compostable completely. Currently, C.P. has reached 98 per cent of recycled packaging for reuse.