Vietnam Sets Eco-label Criteria for Environmentally Friendly Plastic Packaging

Hanoi, Vietnam – In a significant move to promote sustainable practices, Vietnam has established criteria for the Vietnam Eco-label, focusing on environmentally friendly plastic packaging. This initiative, led by Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan, aims to encourage the responsible use of natural resources and bolster environmental protection.

According to Vietnam News Agency, the eco-label targets biodegradable plastic packaging and environmentally friendly plastic packaging, primarily composed of polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP). The packaging, which can come in various forms like bags or films, is intended for use across domestic, industrial, agricultural, and construction sectors.

The criteria for the Vietnam Eco-label include general requirements mandating that products must be manufactured in facilities compliant with environmental protection laws and relevant regulations. There are three specific criteria focusing on materials, technical characteristics, and recovery and recycling processes.

For the materials criterion, the packaging must use biodegradable plastic materials or clean recycled PE and PP plastics. Importantly, these materials should not contain any additives prohibited in Vietnam. Inks, dyes, and other additives used in the packaging production must adhere to environmental and health safety standards.

Regarding technical specifications, the products must align with national standards or equivalent international standards. Biodegradable plastic packaging must have a minimum biodegradation rate of 90% within two years in natural environments, compost, or landfill waste sites. For recycled plastic packaging, at least 20% of the materials must come from recycled plastic.

The last criterion addresses recovery, recycling, processing, and disposal. It requires plans for the recycling and recovery of used packaging, including details about recycling facilities, processes, and environmental protection measures, all in compliance with legal regulations.

This initiative acknowledges the persistent environmental issues caused by plastic packaging, such as long-term pollution due to inadequate recycling and co-disposal with other waste types. The production process of plastic packaging also significantly impacts the environment through greenhouse gas emissions, fuel consumption, and natural resource depletion.

The establishment of these eco-label criteria is expected to have a positive impact on both the economy and the environment. By promoting efficient packaging production, Vietnam aims to reduce costs associated with using petroleum-based plastic raw materials, cut waste disposal expenses, decrease resource extraction for plastic production, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.