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The Circulate Initiative  >  News  >  Press Releases

HP Inc. announced as the Responsible Sourcing Initiative’s brand partner in Viet Nam to create responsible supply chains for recycled plastics

With funding from HP Inc., The Circulate Initiative and the United Nations Development Programme in Viet Nam (UNDP Viet Nam) will implement projects to improve the livelihoods of informal waste workers 

JANUARY 17, 2024 – SINGAPORE – The Circulate Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving the ocean plastic pollution challenge in emerging markets, announced today that HP Inc. will join its Responsible Sourcing Initiative as official brand partner in Viet Nam. HP Inc. will support The Circulate Initiative and implementation partner UNDP Viet Nam in collaboration with aggregators and recycling companies to identify and invest in solutions that improve the working conditions and livelihoods of informal waste workers in the country.


Globally, there are approximately 20 million informal waste workers who contribute to almost 60% of global plastic recycling. A multi-year program of The Circulate Initiative, the Responsible Sourcing Initiative is designed to address the most pressing human rights challenges in the plastics recycling supply chain, with targets to improve livelihoods for an estimated 50,000 informal waste workers by 2025. 

Informal and independent waste collectors play a significant role in waste management and recycling in Viet Nam. UNDP’s analysis shows that women account for 95% of the informal waste workers who collect recyclable waste in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. 

Despite the role they play, these informal collectors and small-scale recyclers are often not recognized in municipal waste management plans,  and also have limited access to social services. Additionally, they are vulnerable to price fluctuations, face health and safety issues, and can suffer from social stigma.

Annerieke Douma, Director of Programs, The Circulate Initiative said: “Waste workers are at the frontline of the fight against plastic pollution. We look forward to working closely with our implementation and local partners across the full value chain to kick off our projects in Viet Nam, which will focus on addressing inequalities and creating greater transparency and inclusion for the informal sector.“


Hayley Whatarau, Global Human Rights Manager, HP Inc. said: “Together, our collective behavior can create more effective change than individual action. We are excited to join the Responsible Sourcing Initiative, working closely with local partners to identify opportunities to strengthen ethical supply chains for recycled plastics in Viet Nam and help the planet, people and communities.”

Dao Xuan Lai, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Viet Nam said: “UNDP is promoting holistic and inclusive approaches to address plastic pollution and accelerate the transition towards a circular economy in Viet Nam. We are working with national and local government authorities and other partners to ensure this transition creates equal opportunities for everyone, especially vulnerable groups. Standing on the frontlines of waste collection and recycling, informal waste workers play a critical role. Through this initiative, we will work with all value chain actors to adopt and implement standards that enhance their working conditions and their livelihoods, and ensure their contribution is recognized.

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