Co-hosted by the Central Committee of the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU), the Canadian Embassy in Vietnam, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the event aimed to share the results of the gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) assessment report in the plastic value chain in Vietnam conducted by the National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) programme. It also looked to raise awareness of national partners and stakeholders in promoting gender equality and comprehensive development in the field of plastic waste management.
Speaking at the event, head of the VWU Central Committee’s Department of Information and Education Nguyen Thi Kim Dung said plastic pollution has become a major global challenge, including Vietnam. According to statistics, around 1.8 million tonnes of plastic waste are released into the environment in the each year. The sorting, collection, recycling, and disposal of plastic waste are still limited, with up to 90% of the plastic waste being disposed of through landfill and incineration, and only 10% recycled. Moreover, 90% of the waste collectors and scavengers are women, exposing them to a hazardous environment impacting their health.
Patrick Haverman, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Vietnam, said policymakers need to have additional research, data, and evidence on issues related to plastics, gender, and social inclusion to avoid any negative impacts on women, migrant labourers, and other vulnerable groups during the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies.
Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam Shawn Steil said Canadian-funded programmes and projects focus on supporting women's rights and livelihoods, aiming to contribute to efforts in transitioning toward a more sustainable and circular plastic economy.
The event highlighted the need to integrate gender equality and comprehensive development issues into the shared action plan proposed by the VWU Central Committee, the Embassy of Canada, the UNDP Vietnam, and other active members of the NPAP network.
Delegates discussed ideas and solutions to steer Vietnam towards a sustainable and comprehensive plastic circular economy that benefits everyone.