International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Salhofer, Stefan, Aleksander Jandric, Souphaphone Soudachanh, Thinh Le Xuan, Trinh Dinh Tran, Elena Cristina Rada, Hyun-Sang Shin, William A Toscano
Purpose of Measurement:
Solution Sets and Impact Potential, Understanding the Problem
Livelihoods, Gender, Material Flows
Waste plastic today is a global threat. The rapid increase in global production and use has led to increasing quantities of plastics in industrial and municipal waste streams. While in industrialized countries plastic waste is taken up by a waste management system and at least partly recycled, in low-income countries adequate infrastructure to collect and treat waste adequately is often not in place. This paper analyzes how plastic waste is handled in Vietnam, a country with a fast-growing industry and growing consumption. The recycling of plastic waste typically takes place in an informal context. To demonstrate this in more detail, two rural settlements—so-called craft villages—are taken as case studies. Technologies and processes for plastic recycling are described and related risks for human health and the environment are shown, as well as the potential for the improvement of this situation.