VECOM – WWF: Plastic waste from e-commerce to the ocean

Date submitted: 14/08/2023 00:44:00

On the morning of August 9, 2023, in Hanoi, representatives of the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM) and the World Wide Fund for Nature in Viet Nam (WWF-Vietnam) had a live exchange online on the topic of reducing plastic waste into the sea in Vietnam.
At the meeting, the representatives introduced in-depth the organization situation, reported the performance results of each party in the past time as well as the plan of activities in the future. In particular, with a long-term vision towards sustainable e-commerce development associated with environmental protection from VECOM, discussing opportunities to cooperate with the World Wide Fund for Nature in Viet Nam is highly focused of the meeting.

Mr. Ta Tuan Anh - WWF Plastic Program Communication Manager and Mr. Tran Van Trong - General Secretary of VECOM chaired the meeting

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is one of the first international NGOs operating in Vietnam. Since 1985, WWF has supported Vietnam in developing a national conservation strategy and has since worked closely with the government and partners to address environmental challenges in Vietnam. WWF - Vietnam's 2030 vision includes ensuring the diversity of species and ecosystems and the vital services they provide, moving towards a more stable and sustainable future while conserving the natural Ecosystem integrity and biodiversity in priority areas of Vietnam are maintained and restored.
Up to now, the activities of WWF - Vietnam have been actively and effectively implemented with a variety of activities and forms, demonstrating the specificity of an environmental organization with clear and effective goals. results and practice. Thereby, contributing to minimizing ecosystem impacts, managing and exploiting resources sustainably.

Operation orientation of WWF - Vietnam is based on 4 main pillars: Behavior change communication; Policies and responsibilities of production units; specific activities towards central cities and seas and islands. Projects that have been and are being implemented by WWF throughout Vietnam such as:
- Project Hue - City to reduce plastic in Central Vietnam (2021-2024): the goal of supporting Hue City protects rivers and coastal and mangrove ecosystems from being polluted by plastic waste.
- Long An Waste Management Project, Mekong Delta (2018-2023): completing the pilot model of waste separation at source; supporting nearly 10,000 trash cans for households, buying 2 dump trucks to collect sorted waste separately, propagating and training about the benefits and ways of sorting waste at source for about 1,000 people; remove all spontaneous garbage piles in the pilot implementation area.
- Project to reduce ocean plastic waste in Vietnam - Phu Quoc: the main task is to raise awareness for tourists and local people living in the city about the threat of marine products. single-use plastic products to the environment, economy and human health.

On the side of the Vietnam E-commerce Association, after many years of focusing on promoting online business growth, VECOM has discovered a number of factors hindering its long-term sustainable development. In 2019, the Association proposed to implement the Sustainable E-commerce Development Program. VECOM's program focuses on three prominent areas. The first is to narrow the development gap between localities. The second is to develop high-quality human resources and the third is to reduce the negative impact of e-commerce on the environment.
From the orientation of sustainable e-commerce development, VECOM proposes to cooperate with WWF - Vietnam to implement the following series of activities:

Firstly, for consumers: implementing communication and educational activities in the online environment to reach a wider audience than traditional activities (the period of 2023 - 2025).
Secondly, for businesses: Training program to support retailers and last-mile delivery to implement activities to reduce the use of plastic packaging and materials (period 2024 - 2025).
Third, for university students: The annual Digital Business Student Contest has contest content about specific initiatives and solutions to reduce the use of plastic packaging and materials (period 2023 - 2025). .
Fourth, for universities: Training university lecturers on sustainable e-commerce development, aiming to add environmental content to the training program (period 2023-2025).
Fifth, for research organizations: Organizing scientific seminars on the impact of e-commerce on the environment, proposing policies and laws to reduce the negative impact of e-commerce on the environment. environment, especially reducing the use, collection and recycling of plastic packaging and materials (period 2024 - 2025).
Sixth, for policy-making and law-making agencies: In-depth discussion on formulating policies, laws, strategies and master plans for the period 2026 - 2030 related to e-commerce and digital economy, integrating environmental protection, circular economy, and plastic waste reduction (period 2024 - 2025).
Seventh, survey the current status of plastic waste in e-commerce: Conduct a survey and develop a report on the current status of plastic waste in e-commerce in the world and Vietnam (period 2023-2024).

After discussing the goals and activities of each party related to reducing plastic waste, the two organizations have agreed on cooperation orientations in line with the vision of each side. WWF – Vietnam prioritizes implementing practical activities associated with businesses with the goal of directly improving the status quo of places where projects are implemented such as Hue project cooperation. Simultaneously, online communication activities are also focused on thanks to the ability to cover and change consumer behavior on a large scale. In particular, some cooperation activities can be implemented as soon as 2023 when the representative of WWF - Vietnam - Mr. Ta Tuan Anh was proposed to join the jury for environmental content in the Business Student contest. number 2023 organized by VECOM. At the same time, the two sides consider conducting a survey on the current status of plastic waste in e-commerce right in 2023. 

The VECOM side highly appreciates the achievements WWF - Vietnam has achieved in its efforts to reduce plastic waste and preserve the ecosystem, thereby expressing its desire to cooperate in projects to reduce plastic packaging and plastic bags. in the e-commerce environment with specific activities in the period 2024 - 2025.
The working session was open, and the two sides agreed to have more in-depth working sessions on planning based on discussions in 2023 in order to implement activities in 2024.