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What enterprises need to be attention after the EPR decision in Vietnam officially takes effect?

EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) is one of the contents of the Law on Environmental Protection in Vietnam which is of interest to many businesses and investors. As expected, the Decree stipulating responsibilities for recycling, handling discarded products, and packaging of manufacturers and importers will be issued in 2021 and officially take effect from January 1, 2022.

The increasing trend of solid waste in Vietnam requires the cooperation of the whole society

According to an estimate of the General Department of Environment (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment), currently nationwide, the amount of domestic solid waste generated is about 60,000 tons/day, of which urban areas account for 60%. By 2025, the amount of domestic solid waste is forecasted to continue to increase by 10-16%/year. In addition, the composition of domestic solid waste has also changed a lot. If in the past, biodegradable organic matter in household solid waste accounted for a high rate of 80-96%, by 2017 it was reduced to 50-70%; components that are difficult to sort, process and recycle such as paper, metal, fabric, leather, rubber, and especially plastic tend to increase. The increase of the volume of solid waste, along with the rate of non-biodegradable waste is putting a great pressure on the environment, requiring the cooperation of the whole society.

In the fight with solid waste, businesses take a pioneering role

The promulgation of the Decree detailing the expanded responsibilities of manufacturers and importers is considered one of the efforts of the Vietnamese government to reduce and separate waste from the source. In particular, it is required that enterprises producing and importing goods for sale, consumption and disposal in Vietnam perform the obligation to collect, process and recycle.

If the enterprise’s products belong to the group that can be collected and have recycling value (specified in Appendix 52 of the Decree), the enterprise will have to perform its obligations in one of four prescribed forms and report their performance annually. Businesses capable of recycling are encouraged to accept the recycling of similar products of other firms. The amount of product of other firm that a company can recycle will be counted in the EPR performance result of that company.

If the product that the enterprise trades in is difficult to collect, or has no recycling value (Appendix 58), the enterprise will have to contribute to the Vietnam Environmental Protection Fund. The contribution level of each product group will be specified in the Decree.

The Environmental Protection Fund uses the proceeds to support the following activities: Collection, transportation and treatment of daily-life solid waste arising from households and individuals; Research and develop technologies, techniques and initiatives for daily-life solid waste treatment; Collect, transport and treat packages containing plant protection drugs.

Figure 1: Which producers or importers need to exercise EPR in Vietnam?

Figure 2: Products which must be collected and recycled

Figure 3: Products which are hard to collect and recycle

Reporting Responsibility

According to the draft Decree, manufacturers and importers need to report the plan as well as the results of EPR implementation with audit to confirm the fulfillment of their responsibilities by submitting these reports:

  1. Recycling plan Registration and Report on the Recycling Result (Appendix 53)
  2. List of quantities and volumes of manufactured and imported products and packages sold to the market (Appendix 54)

Vina-CUES has been researching to implement many projects supporting businesses to adapt to changes in the law related to EPR. A standard example is C3 project, with the aim to establish a network of collecting stores and recycling companies all over the country, as well as its management system to control the performance of the collecting and recycling activities. Information about the project can be found here.

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