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Construction of the largest recycling plant for food-grade PET/HDPE plastic in Vietnam

Report by Dr Axel Schweitzer: New major project ALBA Group Asia

­ALBA Group Asia, a provider of waste management and recycling solutions in the region, and VietCycle, a nationally established waste collection and plastics recycling company in Vietnam, announced last Wednesday the launch of a cooperation to jointly develop the largest plastics recycling plant for food-grade PET/HDPE in Vietnam.

 "Our vision is a world without waste. At the same time, with our holistic approach and through the use of digitalisation, we want to contribute to sustainably improving the living and working conditions of collectors. With this project and the cooperation with our partners from VietCycle, we are taking a significant step in this direction. We are combining our expertise in global circular management and plastic recycling with the VietCycle team's knowledge of the local collection network. The project will be part of the much-needed solution to Vietnam's problem with growing plastic waste. It will also create a significant number of "green" sustainable jobs and improve the social situation of many people. For me personally, this is at least as important as the environmental benefits and the economic success.

At the signing of the cooperation agreement in the capital Hanoi, high representatives of the government of Vietnam and the German embassy confirmed to us the contribution of the project to one of the most urgent environmental problems in the country and pledged their support. They are aware that Vietnam is one of the biggest polluters of the world's oceans, according to the World Bank. Every year, Vietnam discharges about 3 million tonnes of plastic waste on land and an estimated 0.28 to 0.73 million tonnes of plastics waste into the ocean. Across Vietnam, local governments are struggling to collect, transport, treat and dispose of their growing waste streams. Rapid urbanisation combined with increasing economic and population growth will further increase the volume of waste.

Together with VietCycle, we want to tackle this challenge: The investment sum for the planned plant will be up to 50 million US dollars. We are aiming for a capacity of up to 48,000 tonnes per year. The first phase of operation is expected to start in 2024/2025. The project will use modern technologies to produce food-grade PET/HDPE following international standards set by the EU.

Through this partnership, VietCycle's network can grow and offer a significantly larger number of informal waste collectors an upgrade of their work, which is so important for Vietnam. Gender equality and social inclusion in the collection system and in the plastic recycling sector are among the key objectives of the partnership. Hoang Duc Vuong, Chairman of VietCycle Joint Stock Company, who I hold in high esteem, said: "Working with ALBA Group Asia helps us realise our dream of recycling plastic waste based on advanced technology, contributing to sustainability and humanity.”

In addition to our promising partnership and significant contribution to combating climate change in Vietnam, the expansion of the network will enable us and VietCycle to reach many of today's still very disadvantaged collectors and improve their lives by offering training and social security services. To this end, we will also involve the ALBA BERLIN Academy Asia, which is already active in ten countries, in order to combine existing offers with its school, sports and training programmes."

About ALBA Group Asia: 

ALBA Group Asia has been active in the waste management and recycling industry in Asia for more than 20 years. The company has its headquarters in Hong Kong. Further operating facilities are located in China, Indonesia, and Singapore. With its vision for a world without waste, the company focuses on four business areas: Smart City Solutions, Plastics Recycling, Green Gas & Green Fuel Technology and Hazardous Waste Recycling & Management. ALBA Group Asia originated from the Asian activities of the German ALBA Group with more than 50 years of experience in Germany and Europe, but has been legally an independent corporate group since 2019. For more information, please visit www.alba.com.

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About Interzero:

Interzero is one of the leading service providers in the field of closing product, material and logistics loops as well as innovation leader in plastics recycling with the largest sorting capacity in Europe. Under the guiding principle of “zero waste solutions”, the company supports over 50,000 customers throughout Europe on the responsible handling of recyclable materials, thus helping them to improve their own sustainability balance and conserve primary resources. With about 2,000 employees, the company achieves a turnover of over one billion euros (2021). According to Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Interzero’s recycling activities will save one million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and more than 12.5 million tonnes of primary raw materials in 2021 alone. Further information can be found at www.interzero.com.

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