Vietnamese circular economy entrepreneurs were recognized at an event organized by WasteAid.
“Making the Circular Economy a Reality in Ho Chi Minh” marks the completion of WasteAid’s two-year Circular Economy Network programme. The program aims to promote local solutions by supporting innovators and start-ups working towards a “zero waste city”.
WasteAid Zero Waste Cities Challenge Winners
- Veca, a Ho Chi Minh start-up that plans to “digitalize the scrap metal industry”, was one of the two winners of the challenge. According to WasteAid, the seed funding granted to Veca is being used to expand the service to 12 districts and increase the collection of recycled materials to 40 tons.
The start-up was also able to extend its service to the collection of Tetrapak packaging. The project has demonstrated that through the use of its app, waste collectors are able to significantly increase their income.
- A pilot program to create a zero waste campus, created at the University of Economics in Ho Chi Minh City (UEH), was the second winner of the Zero Waste Cities Challenge. Dr. Tu Anh Trinh, director of the Smart City and Management Institute at UEH, revealed the universities’ plan to inspire and empower students to create their own solutions and “own the program “. Its aim is to educate and achieve the ultimate goal of zero waste, through communication and awareness campaigns with staff and students. The university also plans to build a “zero waste station” to collect recyclable materials on campus. A “living lab” will also provide students with the opportunity to explore materials commonly found in waste.
A panel chaired by Zoë Lenkiewicz, Senior Technical Advisor and Head of Communications at WasteAid, heard from several industry professionals who discussed how to advance a circular economy in Ho Chi Minh and society at large.
It was highlighted that the government can support and encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working for a circular economy, by introducing relevant laws and fiscal measures.
The panel also discussed the importance for different value chain stakeholders to connect and work together. For example, designing packaging so that recycling is easier and more cost effective.
Various stakeholders attended the event, including representatives from USAID-IPSC (USAID-Improving Private Sector Competitiveness), Bitis, IKEA, Coca Cola, ProVietnam, Pizza 4P’s and program sponsor Huhtamaki.
Ms. Trang Ha, HR Manager at Huhtamaki Vietnam, said, “We had a great opportunity to meet a lot of people, especially young entrepreneurs who have new and innovative ideas to support the circular economy and minimize the level of plastic waste in Vietnam.
“It was also a good opportunity for people to learn a lot more about who we are at Huhtamaki, through sharing and networking. Thank you so much WasteAid for bringing us together.”
Zoë Lenkiewicz, from WasteAid, added: “Building a circular economy in Ho Chi Minh will conserve resources and protect the natural environment on which we all depend.
The ingenuity of circular economy entrepreneurs and innovators in Ho Chi Minh is certainly worth celebrating! They are driving a significant change in the way we manage resources and creating valuable employment opportunities in the process. »