Summary of the Workshop "Plastic waste from e-commerce": Current status and solutions

Date submitted: 06/05/2024 16:46:00

Since 2019, the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM) has set out a vision for sustainable e-commerce development with the goal of both maintaining rapid growth and minimizing impact on the environment. The goal of reducing the amount of plastic waste generated is one of the programs that has received a lot of attention recently.

The conference "Plastic waste from e-commerce - Current situation and solutions" was held on April 15, 2024 to discuss the current situation of using plastic packaging and materials for e-commerce. The conference received high attention from many parties involved in e-commerce and the environment, including state management agencies on e-commerce and digital economy, logistics and postal services, environment as well as businesses, research and training organizations, and international organizations.

At the conference, experts announced a study conducted within the framework of the project to reduce ocean plastic waste in Vietnam. According to this study, the scale of Vietnam's online retail market in 2023 is estimated at 17.3 billion USD with a total number of packages and parcels of goods of 1.84 billion. At the same time, the scale of the technology food ordering service is estimated to reach over 1.4 billion USD. Common packaging for packages and parcels of goods in online retail is carton boxes, paper bags or plastic bags. Auxiliary materials used for inserting, lining, and wrapping include plastic tape or paper tape, plastic foam with air bubbles or paper or fiber-cut cartons to insert goods, foam or paper to fix products, plastic wrap, Wrapping film or biodegradable plastic wrapped around goods.

On the basis of calculating the scale of online retail and data on the number of orders, distribution of order volume, average value of orders by sales channels, level of packaging and plastic materials used. , it can be seen that by 2023 e-commerce in Vietnam will use 332 thousand tons of packaging, of which the volume of all types of plastic packaging is 171 thousand tons. Thus, the scale of using packaging with materials and plastic tools in packaging is very high. The main reason is that packaging with carton boxes both increases packaging costs and increases shipping costs. Meanwhile, the plastic materials used in packaging are very cheap and light, saving delivery costs. With a growth rate of over 25% per year, it is possible that by 2030, the scale of Vietnam's e-commerce will be over 4.7 times the current size, then the amount of plastic waste from e-commerce will reach 800 thousand tons. /year.

Most e-commerce activities in Vietnam are concentrated in coastal localities or rivers flowing directly into the sea such as Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hue, Can Tho, Nha Trang. Because most plastic waste from e-commerce is mixed with household waste and has not been collected, sorted, recycled or treated in an environmentally friendly manner, the rate of plastic waste from e-commerce is high. will pour into the sea.

(Dr. Pham Manh Hoai - Manager of Partnership and Policy Component, Plastic Reduction Program of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Vietnam (WWF) shared at the event)

(Mr. Nguyen Huu Tuan - Head of Policy Department, Department of E-commerce and Digital Economy, Ministry of Industry and Trade)

The issue of e-commerce development associated with environmental protection has received attention from state management agencies on e-commerce, digital economy, logistics and postal delivery. At the conference "Plastic waste from e-commerce - Current situation and solutions", the Department of E-commerce and Digital Economy introduced policy orientation for e-commerce development associated with environmental protection during the period. by 2030. From the current situation of using packaging and plastic materials in e-commerce, experts and managers of related fields discussed solutions that need to be implemented to deploy the weekly economy. in e-commerce, reducing the level of use, increasing the rate of collection, reuse, and recycling of packaging and plastic materials. In particular, it is necessary to quickly propagate awareness of environmental protection among consumers and the expanded responsibility of manufacturers, especially online sales platforms and merchants.

(Discussion session)

Plastic waste report from Vietnam e-commerce 2023: