Research about Beverage Packaging Recycling Rate and Recycling Cost in Vietnam

TBC-BALL BEVERAGE CAN VIETNAM LIMITED commissioned Eunomia to carry out a study to determine the existing actual recycling rates and costs for beverage packaging in Vietnam.


Some key points from the report:

  • About 85% of the waste generated in Vietnam is being buried without treatment in landfill sites, 80% of which are unsanitary and pollute the environment (1)

  • Beverage packaging comprises an estimated 20% of total packaging waste generated in Vietnam and the current rate of collection is very low and varies for different materials

  • Recycling rates for plastic (PET, HDPE, PP) bottles are low overall (32-45%), as are rates for glass bottles and beverage cartons, with only aluminium cans recycled at a high rate (70%+) due to their higher economic value.

The National Strategy on Integrated Solid Waste Management to 2025, vision to 2050,
The National Strategy on Integrated Solid Waste Management to 2025, vision to 2050,
  • Of the total amount of waste recycled in Vietnam, 93% is imported and recycled by the formal sector (2)

  • In 2003, craft villages in the north of the country recycled around 52,000 tons of used paper, 25,000 tons of plastics and 735,000 tons of metal scrap, with unknown official data (3)

Number of units POM by container type
Number of units POM by container type
  • According to GA Circular, collected-for-recycling rates for PET bottles were found to be higher in the major cities of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, where they were assessed to be 62% and 39%, respectively. According to estimates, the collected-for-recycling rate in all other Vietnamese provinces was between 11% to 42%, which is comparable to the national average (4)

Collected-for-recycling rates for each container type
Collected-for-recycling rates for each container type
  • Given current central estimates of recycling rates of 45% for PET bottles, 32% for HDPE and PP bottles, 77% for aluminium cans, 4% for beverage cartons, and 14% for glass bottles, the total gross and net cost of recycling for each form of beverage packaging. For each material, ranges that correspond to the various determined recycling rates are shown. Due to their comparatively high collection rates, aluminium cans and PET bottles have the highest recycling costs (in gross terms), at $55-83 million and $19-35 million, respectively. Aluminum cans have by far the highest negative net cost of recycling, ranging from $54 to 81 million, proving that there is a lot of money to be made from recycling the material, as evidenced by the high rate of recycling that is seen. Additionally, the net cost of recycling PET bottles is negative and ranges from $4.1 to 7.7 million.


Report link: https://www.cantocan.com.vn/recyclingratevn/images/vietnam-recycling-rate-and-cost-report-2022-by-eunomia-consultancy.pdf

  1. ReportLinker (2020), Vietnam Waste Management Market (2020 - 2025) https://www.reportlinker.com/p05948963/Vietnam-Waste-Management-Market.html?utm_source=GNW

  2. IUCN-EA-QUANTIS (2020), National Guidance for plastic pollution hot spotting and shaping action, Country report Viet Nam

  3. VEA (Viet Nam Environment Association) (2013a). Country analysis paper - Viet Nam. Draft prepared by the Waste Management and Environment Improvement Department (WENID) for the 4th Regional 3R Forum in Asia “3Rs in the Context of Rio+20 Outcomes – The Future We Want” Hanoi, 18-20 March 2013. Available at: http://www.uncrd.or.jp/content/documents/Country%20Analysis%20Paper_Viet Nam.pdf

  4. GA Circular (2019) Full Circle: Accelerating the Circular Economy for Post-Consumer PET Bottles in Southeast Asia, http://www.gacircular.com/full-circle/

Source: Eunomia

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