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Reducing – Classifying – Recycling Plastic Waste Municipal Waste Recycling Program to Reduce Plastic Pollution of the Oceans – “No Plastics – City to River to Coast”

THUAN HOA PUBLISHING HOUSE


CENTRE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

HANDBOOK REDUCING – CLASSIFYING – RECYCLING PLASTIC WASTE

THUAN HOA PUBLISHING HOUSE HUE - 2019


CENTRE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Address: 2/33 Nguyen Truong To, Hue city, Vietnam | Email: info@csrd.vn | Phone: 0234.3837714 | Fax: 0234.3837714

HANDBOOK REDUCING – CLASSIFYING – RECYCLING PLASTIC WASTE

Responsible for publication Pham Thi Dieu My Tran Mai Huong Tran Thi Thanh Tam Vo Thi To Nhu Hoang The Vinh Designed by Hoang The Vinh


Copyright of the Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) Municipal Waste Recycling Program to Reduce Plastic Pollution of the Oceans – “No Plastics – City to River to Coast” Sponsor: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Project duration: 2018 – 2019

Drawing: Tran Thi Hoang Anh - Tran Can Van Secondary School

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Preface Plastic waste pollution is now a major global problem, which urgently demands joint efforts and actions of communities at international, national and local levels. Hue city is also a contributor to this global issue. Every day, the city produces nearly 20 tons of plastic waste and a part of it is discharged into the Huong River and carried to the sea. Joining the critical combat of protecting the environment, with a focus on reducing, classifying and recycling plastic waste in and around Hue City, in 2018, the Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) developed and launched the project “Municipal Waste Recycling Program to Reduce Plastic Pollution of the Oceans – “No Plastics – City to River to Coast”, sponsored by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project has deployed a series of meaningful activities at 06 schools, including 02 high schools: Quoc Hoc and Bui Thi Xuan and 04 secondary schools: Tran Cao Van, Phan Sao Nam, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, and Hoang Kim Hoan. Currently, we are planning to replicate this successful project model to some other schools. This Handbook, titled “REDUCING - CLASSIFYING - RECYCLING PLASTIC WASTE”, is the very first publication that is developed and published by CSRD within the framework of the project. The problem of PLASTIC WASTE has been more burning than ever before. Therefore, educating and raising awareness of the communities in general and of students in particular and the public in general are critical demands and in need of long-term efforts and orientations. The handbook focuses on exploring the basic concepts and providing updated information related to general waste, picturing the current situation of plastic waste at different scopes, and presenting guidance on the classification of waste at source into the three main categories: PAPER, PLASTIC/METAL, and MIXED as well as celebrating examples of initiatives and good practices witnessed during the project. We hope this pamphlet will be a helpful reference document for schools, students, and parents in terms of fostering their awareness and practice in reducing, classifying and recycling PLASTIC WASTE. We would like to express our great and sincere thanks to the United States Agency for International Development for their financial and technical supports to CSRD in implementing this and many other projects of ours in the past as well as their funding of the making and issuing of this publication. Our heartfelt appreciation also goes to all the agencies, schools, and students for their professional consultation, energetic participation, and effective implementation of the project activities. Director - Centre for Social Research and Development

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Drawing: Tran Thi Dieu Linh, Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted

“We made plastic. We depend on it. Now we’re drowning in it.” - National Graphic

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

01 02 03 04 05

OVERVIEW OF PLASTICS WASTE ••• Some basic concepts ••• Where does waste come from? ••• Plastic waste in our daily activities ••• Where will plastic waste go to? ••• How long does it take waste to decompose? ••• How has plastic waste endangered our planet? ••• What is the situation of plastic waste in Vietnam and Thua Thien Hue?

WHAT SHOULD WE DO? ••• What can be done to reduce plastic? ••• Benefits of recycling plastic waste ••• Inspiring efforts in combating plastic waste ••• What can you and we as a community do? •••

CLASSIFYING WASTE AT SOURCE ••• Types of waste ••• Why does waste classification matter? ••• How is waste classified in this project? ••• Household hazardous waste ••• Recycling plastics with creativity •••

PROJECT’S OUTCOMES AND IMAGES FROM SCHOOLS ••• Participating schools ••• Outcomes ••• Memorable photos •••

INSPIRING STORIES ••• Agent of changes ••• Class 7/8’s lasting commitment ••• One school, one voice: “No plastic!” •••

REFERENCES ENDNOTES

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Drawing: 10th History & Geography Class, Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted

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PART 1 OVERVIEW OF WASTE AND PLASTIC WASTE 1. Some basic concepts Waste: Waste is universally defined as any substance or object which the users discard or intends or is required to discard for some reasons. Wastes are categorized into various groups depending on their properties, such as plastic waste, paper waste, metal waste, or air pollutants or depending on their chemical properties, such as organic waste and inorganic waste, or biodegradable or non-biodegradable waste. Plastics and plastic waste: The term “plastics” includes materials composed of various elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, and sulfur. Plastics are macromolecules, formed by polymerization and having the ability to be shaped by application of a reasonable amount of heat and pressure or another form of forces. Plastics could not biodegraded by themselves but under the impact of sunlight and or decomposed into tiny pieces. Microplastic: are solid plastic particles of less than 5 millimeters in size which are invisible to human eyes. With this tiny shape, they are easily pass through all types of treating systems to present in everywhere, for instance, in the ocean, stomach of fish and shrimp, underground or pipe water, or even in what human eat. About 10% of cosmetics, cleaning detergents and clothes are made from microplastics. Waste classification: The work of sorting waste by its source, properties or usage purposes in accordance with the regulations of the place that you live in. Waste classification at households can be categorized in recyclable waste, organic waste, and others. Reuse: The act of putting something back into use again (which is usually disposed otherwise) or more than once, whether for its original purpose or to fulfill a different function, requiring no reproduction efforts. Recycling: This can be described as any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes1. 2. Where does waste come from? According to the United Nations (UN), every year the world population discharge a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste. To make it worse, 99% of what we buy is usually trashed within only 6 months. Of the 2.12 billion

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tons of waste that is “produced” yearly, up to 91% of the plastic waste are not recycled2. Plastic waste comes from human activities, from eating, drinking, entertaining to working, traveling and manufacturing. Presently, we produce as many as 300 million tons of plastics annually3, equivalent to the weight of the global population in total. History of the “plastic invasion”4: • • • •

1950s - 1970s: Only a modest amount of plastic was produced, thus putting the management at ease. 1990s: The total amount of plastics made was tripled in comparison with that of the previous two decades. 2000s: The quantity of plastics manufactured in a single decade is even higher than the total amount of the material generated in the previous 40 years. Present: Annually, there are more than 400 million tons of plastics produced and this number keeps climbing up day by day. Researchers estimate that more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since the early 1950s. More sadly, about 60% of that plastic has ended up in either a landfill or the natural environment. If current trends go on, there would be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.

The world produces more than

400 million tons of plastics every year.

PACKAGING is the industrial sector that generated the biggest amount of plastics – mostly with single-use products

Others 12% Textiles 14%

Packaging 36%

Consumption 10%

Electrical/electronic 4%

Building and construction 16%

Industrial machinery 1%

Transportation 7%

Global plastic production by industrial sector, 2015*1

* Source: UN Environment (2017), adapted from Geyer, Jambeck & Law (2015)

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As the population has been on the rise, the amount of plastic discharged into the environment has constantly hiked. The above chart indicates that the packaging sector is the biggest attribute to the global produced plastics with 36% (2015). This sector is also the one that accounts for the highest discharged plastic waste of 141 million tons in 2015. 3. Plastic waste in our daily activities Plastic is the major material and component of many products that we are using every day and at an extremely large amount. More than 99% of plastics are produced from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas, and coal — all of these three are dirty, non-renewable resources. In a latter part of this handbook, we will find more about the popular types of plastics, including their code, chemical name and properties, common products made from them, and guidance to sort them.

Drawing: N.T.H.Yen, L.T.B.Huyen, H.H.Quynh, H.N.B.Thinh, T.L.N.Minh – Bui Thi Xuan High School

4. Where will plastic waste go to? Waste, including plastic waste off course, when collected, has three fates — recycling, thermal destruction, and landfills. When not being collected or treated, waste will be discharged into the environment without control. For instance, they will be dumped into lakes, canals, rivers or oceans or piled up somewhere around us. A huge amount of uncollected or improperly treated waste has been carried by the rivers to the oceans, putting the marine environment and wildlife in danger. For plastic waste alone, as many as 8 million tons of this toxic waste are transported into the marine waters by this way5. The Mekong river, flowing through Vietnam, carries 33,431 tons of plastics to the East Sea every year6.

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Due to the lack of efficient management systems and mechanisms of waste, Vietnam, together with China, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand are the top 5 countries that contribute about ½ of the global plastics transported to the oceans7. Some developed countries such as the United State, Japan or European nations while producing and discharging more plastics have implemented more efficient waste management systems.

Burned

Buried in a landfill

Recycled

Discharged to the environment

Drawing: Nguyen Quang Ky Phuong & Dang Le Uyen Nhi – Tran Cao Van Secondary School

The “fates” of plastic waste.

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5. How long does it take waste to decompose? Below is the estimated time for some popular wastes, especially plastic ones, to completely decompose in natural conditions. It can be seen that a majority of plastic products have the longest decomposition time, with some up to 1,000 years or some will never biodegrade.

Paper carton boxes 2 months

Toilet paper cores 3 months

Balloons 6 months

Cigarette butts 10 years

Plastic bags 10-20 years

Rubber boots 50-80 years

Beverage cans 200 years

Fishing hooks 600 years

Baby diapers 450 years

Plastics Cutlery 100-1,000 years

Glass bottles 4,000 years

Plastic bottles 1,000 year or NEVER

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6. How has plastic waste endangered our planet? As mentioned, since being fabricated from non-eco-friendly materials and some even containing toxins, plastics are seriously threatening our planet in many aspects. •

Harming human’s health Many plastic products are made from toxic chemicals, thus posing negative impacts on human’s health, such as damaging our endocrine systems or causing malfunction to our reproductivity. Yet it is believed that many potential harms of its are still unveiled.

Threatening wildlife “For animals, plastic is turning the ocean into a minefield”, alerted the National Graphic8. Indeed, plastics have been mistaken for food by numerous marine wildlife, choking them or causing their digestion system blocked or damaged. Some plastic waste such as fishing nets, wires or empty beverage cans can trap the marine animals and making them exposed to predators or starve to death. Consequently, plastic waste kills up to 1 million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals, many marine turtles, and countless fish each year 9.

Image: Red Funnel

Poisoning land Plastic waste buried in landfills usually combines with water and other substances to form toxins, which brings about pollution and quality decline to land and its capacity to support the life of plants and microorganism as well as results in significant health implications to plants, people, and animals within the surrounding.

Contaminating water The hazardous substances generated during the decomposition of buried plastic waste have been a source of serious pollutants to underground water. Plastics and microplastics floating up and down in lakes, rivers, and

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oceans are also poisoning surface water and drinking water, jeopardizing the life of marine animals and plants. •

Polluting food chains An estimate of 5.3 trillion microplastics and plastic pieces are floating in the oceans10. There are more to come. They are daily ingested by the marine animals and finally penetrate into our stomach.

Image: Red Funnel

Polluting air Since plastic waste keeps charging from all sources of human activities, burning them is one of the most popular and easiest ways of getting rid of them. Consequently, the air is becoming the seat of plastic toxins evaporated from the burning and thus impacting the respiratory system and eventually the health of human being and animals.

Jeopadizing tourism and economy Plastic pollution has been forcing many nations to spend substantial budget to remove and sacrifice vastly area of land for landfills or has brought about stagnation or operation cease to numerous tourism and entertainment sites, resulting in huge costs to the economy

Image: Red Funnel

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••• 13 SHOCKING FACTS ABOUT PLASTIC WASTE Plastic pollution is killing our planet! It’s choking our oceans, poisoning our food and water supply, and wreaking havoc on the health and well-being of humans and wildlife worldwide. These following facts that listed by the UN Environment and other research agencies could shock you11:

1

8.3 BILLION TONS of plastics has been produced since its appearance in the 1950s. The amount of plastics fabricated in a year is about to be equivalent to the total weight of the world population.

2

Almost every PLASTICS produced STILL EXIST in this form or another (apart from a small amount burned).

3

91% of PLASTIC WASTE have not been recycled. Most of the plastics are very hard to decompose and can last for hundreds of years or even a THOUSAND.

4

Every MINUTE, as many as TWO MILLION of plastic bags is distributed around the globe.

5

Every MINUTE, ONE MILLION of plastic bottles are purchased in the world – and the yearly number of plastic bottles purchased is going to reach haft a TRILLION in 2021. Not even haft of them has been recycled.

6

8 MILLION TONS of plastic and microplastics is discharged to the oceans EVERY YEAR.

7

The number of microplastic particles is even MORE than stars in our GALAXY.

8

If plastic production is not reduced, the weight of plastic waste is calculated to outnumber that of the FISH in the ocean in 2050.

9

90% of BOTTLED WATER is found to contain MICROPLASTICS.

10

100 YEARS is the time for plastic to ENTIRELY DECOMPOSE in the natural environment.

11

MICROPLASTICS are found in 83% of our PIPE WATER.

12

100,000 sea mammals and countless fish are KILLED by plastic waste YEARLY.

13

17 MILLION BARRELS of oil are used to produced plastic bottles only EACH YEAR.

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••• IMAGES THAT SADDEN US…

Images: Pinterest/Stock Images/Google Images

Until now potential impacts of plastic on wildlife and human being have not yet been fully known. - UN Environment

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7. What is the situation of plastic waste in Vietnam and Thua Thien Hue? According to the United Nations, Vietnam ranks 17th out of 109 countries with a high level of plastic pollution in the world12. Reported by Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, each Vietnamese household dispose of more than one plastic bag a day, including big, small and tiny bags. Accordingly, millions of plastic bags are used and discharged into the environment every day. In the two biggest cities of the country, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, an average of 80 tons of plastic and plastic bags are discharged on a daily basis into the environment13. In Thua Thien Hue, according to a survey in 2015, every day the whole province discharged 650 tons of garbage (200 tons by Hue city alone), of which 6% was plastic and plastic waste, equivalent to 35 tons14. This number has been constantly growing. However, in their 2014 report, Hue Urban Environment and Public Works Joint Stock Company (HEPCO) revealed that the total volume of waste processed by the company is just at 275 tons per day, or about 40% of the total discharged waste.

YEAR 2019

Ratio 1:5

YEAR 2050

Ratio 1:1

Drawing: Do Kim Anh Duong – Hoang Kim Hoan Secondary School

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Drawing: Nguyen Thien Phu – Quoc Hoc High school for the Gifted

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PART 2 WHAT SHOULD WE DO? 1. What can be done to reduce plastic waste?

Refuse

Recycle

Reduce

Rethink Regift

Reuse

Repair

If you really want to start doing things that are small but significantly helpful to the environment, you can practice these easy-to-follow advices in the form of the “7 R” model: •

Rethink: This is the most important first step on your change journey. Always sensitize yourself with your consumption, your relationship with the “things” around and your bonds with the Earth.

Refuse: Be decisive to refuse what you do not need.

Reduce: Reduce the plastic products that you use every day.

Reuse: Make use of old items or turn them into useful objects.

Repair: Fix or restore things rather than simply throw them away.

Regift: Give things you don't use or need for people who would need them.

Recycle: Contribute to the recycling process for plastic waste, such as sorting garbage properly at home or school.

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2. Benefits of recycling plastic waste Economic benefits: • • • •

Saving energy and consuming fewer resources; Reducing the amount of landfilled solid waste, thus saving landfill areas (meaning saving land for other useful activities) and reducing the pressure on existing landfills that are mostly overloaded; Helping improve the efficiency of recycling of waste and conversing of them into useful products such as organic fertilizers; Saving costs of waste treatment. Environmental benefits:

• • • •

Reducing environmental pollution (such as pollution of oceans, land, air, and water); Reducing greenhouse gas emissions (due to cutting down the use of gasoline or other energies to make new plastic products); Protecting wildlife from the impacts of plastic waste, thereby contributing to biodiversity conservation; Preserving natural resources through saving and reusing plastic. Social benefits:

• •

Enhancing awareness of people and society; Encouraging environment-friendly and sustainable lifestyles among people.

3. Inspiring efforts in combating against plastic waste Currently, the plastic bag bans have been in place in more than nearly 100 countries. While these regulations apply at various levels and aspects, this has partly spoken for the emerging recognition, commitment, and action of countries on combating plastic waste pollution. Noticeably, people are increasingly exercising their power as consumers as well as taking stronger actions as responsible citizens against the issue. People are turning down plastic straws and cutlery, cleaning beaches and coastlines, reconsidering their purchase habits or getting more strictly in selecting products with a mind for the environment. This is pushing the producers and enterprises to change and adapt to respond positively to the requirements of a more knowledgeable and responsible community of consumers. Some signs that lighten the picture: •

Scotland has cut down 9,000,000,000 plastic bags after 4 years of taxing plastic products.

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• • • • •

About 250 major brands, including Coca Cola and Nestle, have announced that by 2025 they will ensure 100% of used plastic products will be reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable. The European Parliament approved a new law banning single-use of many plastic items which takes effect from 2021. China has banned the use of plastic bags since 2008 and according to estimates, this country now has 66% fewer plastic bags in circulation, equivalent to the absence of 40,000,000,000 bags... By the end of 2018, 32 countries had banned the use of plastic bags, of which about half of them are from Africa. Recently in 2019, in response to a public call to reduce plastic waste, many supermarkets in Vietnam have used banana leaves to pack vegetables instead of using plastic bags.

4. What can you and we as a community do? Although many efforts have been made globally to minimize plastic waste, there is still a lot to be done and we must race against time. You, as an individual or together with your community, can fuel this global campaign of vital importance even by doing the smallest things. As an individual, you can think about doing these not-very-hard things: •

Bring your own shopping bags to the supermarket;

Refuse plastic cutlery and straws;

Reduce your use of plastic bags, Styrofoam boxes, and single-use plastic products;

Pick the waste, especially plastic when you see them;

Carry a refillable water bottle;

Educate your family, relatives, and friends about the impacts of plastic waste and encourage them to sort them at source;

Use multiple-use boxes and bags for storing your foods, clothes and other items;

Use glass bottles to store your foods, spices, or grains instead of plastic ones;

Using cloth diapers for your babies instead of single-use ones;

Buy products that are not or limitedly packed with plastic or nylon;

Fix and reuse plastic products, such as bags, plastic bottles or toys…;

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Gift or give plastic items that you do not need or use any more, instead of simply disposing of them;

Return reusable items to stores such as beer or soft drink cases. And off course, there are plenty of things that you could do in your daily life, such as some suggestions on storing foods without plastic below: Cut the lower part of the stem and

Wrap your lettuces in a tea towel and put them in the fridge

put them in glasses of water and then in the fridge or cool places

Store tomatoes, bananas, or stone fruits in freezer

Wrap cheeses with bee wax paper Wrap breads in a cloth and store them in a wooden bin

Stand celeries and float Keep leftovers in jars or just put a

carrots in water

place over and fridge them

Store your foods with lass and steel boxes or put them in freezer

Drawing: Quoc Hoc High school for the Gifted, adapted from www.ecowithem.com.

As a community, together we can: •

Limit our dependence on plastic products;

Maintain environmental hygiene in public places and around our neighborhoods;

Generate pressure to enhance the responsibilities of manufacturers and enterprises;

Advocate for the increase of taxes and fees on polluting plastic products and eventually ban them;

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Improve waste management efficiency; especially, by implementing well the classification of waste at source at household and local levels, preventing plastic waste from being dumped and carried into the sea;

Increase the budget for environmental cleanup activities.

Drawing: 11th Chemistry Class 1 - Quoc Hoc High school for the Gifted

“The people who make the BIGGEST difference are the ones who do the LITTLE things consistently.” - English proverb.

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PART 3 WASTE CLASSIFICATION AT SOURCE 1. Types of waste? Each country has a different system of classifying waste. However, waste is most commonly classified into these basic groups: organic waste, recyclable solid waste (plastic, metal, glass, and paper), non-recyclable waste and hazardous solid waste. (See the Drawing below).

Plastic

Metal

Paper

Glass

Organic

Hazardous

Drawing: Nguyen Quang Anh Thi - Quoc Hoc High school for the Gifted

However, in many areas of Vietnam, waste is classified into only two groups, namely organic and non-organic, or three groups, namely organic, metal, paper and glass, and others. In this project, three types of bin are placed at the participating schools: (1) green bin for paper waste, (2) blue bin for metal/plastic/glass waste and (2) yellow bin for mixed waste. 2. Why does waste classification matter? Classifying waste at home/source before it is collected is a small deed but makes significant contributions. Frequent and proper classification of waste at home/source will greatly facilitate the collection, treatment, and recycling of waste, including plastic waste, thus saving natural resources and reducing hazards to the environment. At present, in Vietnam, only solid waste (household and industrial) is collected whereas sewage and fumes are barely treated before disposed into the natural environment. The collection, classification, and recycling of solid waste in Vietnam are still limitedly and unsystematically implemented.

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Reasons are many, such as limited system and facilities for waste collecting, lack of funding or technology for waste treatment or recycling, as well as limited awareness and inappropriate behaviors of individuals, the public, and businesses.

Drawing: Quynh Thy - Quoc Hoc High school for the Gifted

While there are still many shortcomings in the waste collection, classification and recycling system in Vietnam, frequent and proper waste classification at source (household, business establishments, etc.) will help increase the amount of waste being recycled and reduce waste disposal, including plastic waste, into the environment. Schools are seen as a place where a lot of waste generated, therefore, waste classification at school should be actively and effectively implemented. In the next part, we will learn only about the classification of everyday solid waste and how to classify solid waste (hereinafter referred to as waste) at schools – which is carried out as one of the main components of this project. 3. How is waste classified in this project? The project supports the participating schools to classify solid waste into three main groups, namely: • • •

Paper waste Plastic/metal (and glass) waste Mixed waste

Now, we will learn about each of these groups in order to classify them properly.

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PAPER WASTE PAPER WASTE is to be put into the GREEN BIN Paper waste need to be classified into two groups: Recyclable and nonrecyclable. RECYCLABLE papers: • • • • • • •

Books, newspapers, magazines, writing paper, printing paper, and gift boxes Packaging paper Carton boxes Envelops or wrapping paper Tear-off calendar Tissue paper boxes, biscuit boxes Milk/juice paper packaging

NON-RECYCLABLE paper waste:

Drawing: N.H. Anh, T.B. Nhi, T.P.P. Uyen, D.P.D. Huy, T.V. Nhan - Bui Thi Xuan High School

• • • • • • • • • • •

Paper napkins, used toilet paper Carbon paper Wax-coated or laminated paper Oiled paper and water-proof paper Glassine paper Bubble heat insulation sheets Thermal paper Used diapers, wallpaper Photographic paper Foil paper Paper containers of paint, chemicals or paper used to wrap foods

Non-recyclable paper waste should be separated from recyclables, to be collected by the responsible agencies.

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••• PAPER WASTE RECYCLING PROCEDURE Used

Classified and collected

Distributed

Product finishing

Fresh paper

Pulp production

Drawing: Nguyen Thi Khanh Nhi - Phan Sao Nam Secondary School

“Pollution - if you do not kill it – it will kill you” - The Fresh quote

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PAPERAND & METAL WASTE PLASTIC METAL WASTE is to be put into the BLUE BIN Plastic waste: There are many types of plastic waste, depending on the chemical properties of the source materials. We can tell them from the signs imprinted on the bottom or lower part of any plastic products. The following table provides you with information about common types of plastic, their properties and the products they are usually made into, as well as whether they can be safely used as food containers or be recycled. Learning this table carefully will help you classify plastic waste properly. Metal waste: Most of the metal used in everyday life can be recycled. These products include: • • • • •

Soft drink cans Food containers, milk boxes Paint tins Metal tools Sprayers’ tins

Drawing: N.H. Anh, T.B. Nhi, T.P.P. Uyen, D.P.D. Huy, T.V. Nhan - Bui Thi Xuan High School

Glass waste: Like metal waste, glass bottles, jars, vases, etc. also need to be classified and recycled.

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••• SUMMARY ON COMMONLY USED PLASTICS* Symbol/ RIC code

Plastic name

Polyethylene Terephthalate

High Density Polyethylene

Polyvinyl Chloride

Low Density Polyethylene

Recyclability

Safe to store food?

Properties

Common uses

Clear, tough, solvent resistant, barrier to gas and moisture, softens at 80°C

• Soft drink and water bottles and cooking oil bottles • Salad trays and other food containers • Synthetic fibres

Usually recycled

Hard to semi-flexible, resistant to chemicals and moisture, waxy surface, opaque, softens at 110°C, easily colored, processed and formed

• Milk/fruit juice jugs and other containers • Laundry detergents and other household cleaning products containers such as shower gels, toilet cleanings or washingup liquids • Hair shampoo bottles

Usually recycled

• Plumbing - pipes, fittings, window and door frames and rain coats • Electric cables • Thermal insulation (PVC foam) and automotive parts

Seldomly or never be recycled

X

• Bread bags, instant noodle packings • Frozen food and grocery bags • Most plastic film wraps • Some containers • Zippers storage bags for clothes

Seldomly recycled

PVC-U: Strong, tough, can be clear, can be solvent weld, softens at 80°C PVC-P: Flexible, clear, elastic, can be solvent weld

Soft, flexible, waxy surface, translucent, chemically inactive but less physically durable than HDPE, softens at 95°C, scratches easily

*Source: Adapted from United Nations Environment Program (2014)

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Polypropylene

Hard but still flexible, waxy surface, softens at 140°C, translucent, withstands solvents, versatile

Can be clear, glassy, rigid, opaque, and semi-tough, softens at 95°C Polystyrene /Expanded Polystyrene

Others (ie. polycarbonate, polylactide, tritan,…)

Includes all other resins and multi-materials. Properties dependent on plastic or combination of plastics

• Margarine and coffee containers • Microwaveable meal trays, lunch boxes • Yogurt cans, water bottles, medicine bottles, bottles for syrups, tomato sauces, chilly sauces, and plastic straws • Garden furniture and outdoor carpets

Usually recycled

• Foamed (Styrofoam) in food containers, egg cartons, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys, and building insulation • Rigid in disposable cutlery • CD cases

Hard to or never be recycled

x

• Lids, medical storage containers • Electronics • Large-size containers of foods, drinking water and other liquids Computers and telephones cover • Sport water bottles

Very hard to be recycled

x

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••• PLASTIC RECYCLING PROCEDURE -

Finished and distributed

Used

Plastic Recycling Procedure

Classified at source

Collected

Treated and remade

Stored, classified

“Plastic - a material designed to last forever - for products designed to last minutes.” - Upstream

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MIXED WASTE MIXED WASTE

Non-recyclables from the two aforementioned groups will be put into the YELLOW BIN for mixed waste, usually including: • • • • • • • • • •

Bottle labels, plastic bags (including candy bags, instant noodle bags) Styrofoam containers Eating napkins, toilet paper, and sanitary pads Single-use cups and plates Ceramics Seashells and egg shells Leaves and tree branches Leatherware, rubber ware and tires Umbrellas, watches, videotapes, CDs Non-recyclables from the two aforementioned groups

Organic waste such as food or leaves need to be packaged separately (if possible) or classified properly before being put into the bin.

Drawing: N.H. Anh, T.B. Nhi, T.P.P. Uyen, D.P.D. Huy, T.V. Nhan - Bui Thi Xuan High School

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4. Household hazardous waste: Apart from the common types of waste mentioned above, sometimes we encounter hazardous types of waste (containing substances that are toxic, corrosive, active, inflammable or explosive). According to statistics (2016)15, the proportion of hazardous waste mixed with everyday waste at landfills is from 0.02 to 0.82%. Household hazardous waste normally includes batteries, accumulators, fluorescent tubes, broken mercury-in-glass thermometer, washing products, pesticide or mouse poison packagings, paint, varnish, hair dye or nail gel containers, bug sprays, needles used by drug addicts, etc. Despite being in very small proportion, these types of waste are particularly dangerous if disposed into the environment. When disposing of these types of hazardous waste, we need to classify and carefully put them into separate (labeled if possible) packaging before bringing them to the nearest collecting point to be treated (if there is not a system for collecting hazardous waste in the local area). These types of hazardous waste should not be treated by methods that are not scientifically tested – for example, put them together with sand into a plastic bottle then bury it. 5. Recycling plastics with creativity As we know, many things made of plastic could be reused or “revitalized” into new items serving other practical purposes. This way, demand for consumer goods is reduced and money can be saved. Here are some ideas on how plastics could be reused that you could try at home, school or your workplace. Firstly, there are the lovely, creative products made by students while taking part in this project. Also, you can take a look at the next pages for inspiration for your own creative ideas.

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Cute products remade from used plastics by the students of Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted are used to enhance their study spaces.

Drawing: Le Thanh Dat – Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Secondary School

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\

Students of Tran Cao Van Secondary School and their creative handmade gifts they presented to their teachers on Vietnamese Teacher’s Day. .

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Students of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Secondary School, Phan Sao Nam Secondary School and Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted presenting their initiatives of waste recycling in fashion.

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••• SET YOUR CREATIVITY FREE WITH USED PLASTICS

Images: Pinterest/Google Images As you see, there are plenty of ideas to turn your used plastic into useful and cute items, aren’t they? Besides, you can also visit Google or Pinterest.com for more creative ideas on how to recycle your stuff.

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Drawing: 12th Physics, Quoc Hoc High school for the Gifted

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PART 4

PROJECT’S OUTCOMES AND IMAGES FROM SCHOOLS

06 participating schools in the project: • • • •

Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted Bui Thi Xuan High School Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Secondary School Phan Sao Nam Secondary School

• •

Tran Cao Van Secondary School Hoang Kim Hoan Secondary School The project is an opportunity for students to:

✓ ✓

Improve their awareness and knowledge about waste and environmental Drawing: Pham Hoang Long Nhat protection through communication and Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted extracurricular activities on and off campus; Take concrete actions to clean and protect the environment, through waste classification at home and at school, as well as participation in clean-up campaigns; Expand their network and become more mature through exchanging, learning and practicing, as well as through organizing some activities with the project; Feel happy about simple but interesting and practical actions to protect the environment; Explore their capacities, ignite and initiate creative and meaningful ideas and scale up their actions. After 7 months (9/2018 – 4/2019), students at 6 schools managed to collect over 2,170 kg of recyclable garbage, the sale of which returned nearly 5,000,000 VND. Though modest, this is a very concrete result achieved thanks to the students’ small but consistent collective actions. Besides, the students, together with their teachers and the project officers, organized many clean-up campaigns at many hot spots in Hue, such as beaches, rivers, lakes, heritage sites or tourist attractions. After the

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campaigns, hundreds of sacks of garbage were collected, taken to where they were properly treated or sold to raise fund. Here are some photos of students’ activities in the project:

Communication activities and quizzes.

Waste classification at schools.

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Students of 9 schools, Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted, Bui Thi Xuan High School, Tran Cao Van Secondary School, Phan Sao Nam Secondary School, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Secondary School, Hoang Kim Hoan Secondary School, Pham Van Dong Secondary School, Vinh Duong Primary School, Thai Duong Primary School, organize and participate in clean-up campaigns at beaches, heritage sites and tourist attractions in the province in April 2019.

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PART 5 INSPIRING STORIES Through the project, small but practical and meaningful changes were fuelled and achieved thanks to many individuals and groups. Let’s learn about some exemplar inspiring stories:

Agent of change Nguyen Nu Dieu Lien, from class 8/1 of Hoang Kim Hoan Secondary School, Hai Duong commune, Huong Tra township, is one of the good examples in collecting and classifying recyclable waste. Not only having a positive academic record, Dieu Lien is also a member of her school’s Green Environment Club. Together with other members, she participates in environmental protection and waste reducing, classifying and recycling activities. Dieu Lien is one of the most dynamic agents in inspiring her peers, as well as adults to make changes in the movements against plastic waste.

Class 7/8’s lasting commitment Upon enhancing awareness about the negative impacts of plastic waste via the project’s activities, since December 2018, Ms. Le Nguyen Thanh Phuong, teacher, and students of Class 7/8 of Tran Cao Van Secondary School have made a commitment and reminded each other to use personal refillable water bottles instead of single-use water bottles. They soon recognized many benefits from this practice: water brought from home is safer to drink, money on buying water could be saved and single-use plastic waste could be reduced or discharged into the environment. Overcoming initial problems, especially when some students had different opinions and were not serious about fulfilling this “collective commitment”, now students of class 7/8 always bring their own refillable water bottle whenever they leave home. This has gradually become a habit that this solidary class follows voluntarily. Especially, many of them say that they will continue to maintain this habit in the long run, as well as spread it out to members of their family and other students in the school.

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One school, one voice: “No plastic!” During the clean-up campaign at Ta Trach lake in April 2019, the teachers and students of Phan Sao Nam Secondary School did not use any of single-use plastics. Everyone brought their own water bottle, bowl and chopsticks. A 20liters bottle of water was brought along for everyone to share. Natural utensils such as bamboo trays or banana leaves were utilized as food containers, while reusable rubber gloves were worn while collecting garbage.

Along with taking concrete and practical actions, the teachers and students often organize activities to raise awareness about reducing plastic waste and single-use plastics. This is a wonderful foundation for the school to create more substantial changes in reducing plastic waste at schools as well as in society.

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Drawing: Nguyen Thi Hoai Minh, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Secondary School

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REFERENCES

1. 8 steps to solve the ocean's plastic problem. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/03/8-steps-to-solve-the-oceans-plastic-problem

2. Bộ Tài nguyên và Môi trường. (2016). Báo cáo hiện trạng môi trường quốc gia 2016. Hà Nội, Việt Nam: NXB Tài nguyên-Môi trường và Bản đồ Việt Nam.

3. Causes, Effects and Solutions of Plastic Pollution. Retrieved from https://www.conserveenergy-future.com/causes-effects-solutions-of-plastic-pollution.php

4. Dengler, R., & Dengler, R. (2017). Humans have made 8.3 billion tons of plastic. Where does it all go?. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/humans-made-83-billion-tons-plastic-go

5. Geyer, R., Jambeck, J., & Law, K. (2017). Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Science Advances, 3(7), e1700782. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1700782

6. Hướng dẫn phân loại đối với rác thải gia dụng và có thể tái chế. Retrieved from https://www.asr-chemnitz.de/fileadmin/files/Flyer/Sortierhilfe_vietn.pdf

7. Madaan, S. Fatal Effects of Plastic Pollution. Retrieved from https://www.eartheclipse.com/pollution/fatal-effects-of-plastic-pollution.html

8. Tons

of waste dumped - globally, this year. (2019). Retrieved from http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/shocking_environmental_facts_and_statistics /world_waste_facts

9. UN Environment. (2014). Valuing Plastic Publication. Retrieved from https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/10970/wbrs16_4_valuing_plas tic_new.pdf?amp%3BisAllowed=&sequence=1

10. UN Environment. (2018). Single-use plastics: A roadmap for sustainability. Retrieved from https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/25496/singleUsePlastic_sustain ability.pdf?isAllowed=y&sequence=1

11. UN Environment. (2019). Guidance on the interpretation of key provisions of Directive 2008/98/EC on waste.

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ENDNOTES 1

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/342366/351758/Guidance+on+municipal+waste/3106 067c-6ad6-4208-bbed-49c08f7c47f2 2

http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/shocking_environmental_facts_and_statistics/world_ waste_facts 3

https://www.unenvironment.org/interactive/beat-plastic-pollution/

4

https://www.unenvironment.org/interactive/beat-plastic-pollution/

5

https://www.unenvironment.org/interactive/beat-plastic-pollution/

6

https://www.unenvironment.org/interactive/beat-plastic-pollution/

7

https://ourworldindata.org/plastic-pollution

8

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/plastic-planet-animals-wildlifeimpact-waste-pollution/ 9

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Ocean_Factsheet_Pollution.pdf

10

https://www.sas.org.uk/our-work/plastic-pollution/plastic-pollution-facts-figures/

11

https://www.earthday.org/2018/03/07/fact-sheet-end-plasticpollution/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=f921557b-da6a-41e4-a82c-662486f4ec93 https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Ocean_Factsheet_Pollution.pdf https://www.unenvironment.org/interactive/beat-plastic-pollution/ 12

http://vea.gov.vn/en/news/news/Pages/Community-commits-to-anti-plastic-waste-to-cleanup-the-world.aspx 13

2016 National Report on Environment – Vietnam’s Ministry of Resources and Environment

14

Thua Thien Hue Union of Science and Technology Associations (HUSTA)

15

2016 National Report on Environment – Vietnam’s Ministry of Resources and Environment

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The Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) is based in Hue, Vietnam. It is a self-funded non-government organization (NGO) working to seek justice for vulnerable communities threatened by external change. CSRD has retained a geographical focus in Thua Thien Hue and adjacent provinces in the Central Region of Vietnam but has also undertaken projects throughout the lower Mekong. Address: 2/33 Nguyen Truong To Str., Hue City, Vietnam This handbook is published with funding from The United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Drawing: Nguyen Dao Ngoc Hanh - Quoc Hoc High School for the Gifted

Profile for CSRD

Handbook: Reducing - Classifying - Recycling plastic waste  

This Handbook, titled “REDUCING - CLASSIFYING - RECYCLING PLASTIC WASTE”, is the very first publication that is developed and published by C...

Handbook: Reducing - Classifying - Recycling plastic waste  

This Handbook, titled “REDUCING - CLASSIFYING - RECYCLING PLASTIC WASTE”, is the very first publication that is developed and published by C...

Profile for csrd7