Australian science will deliver new innovations to tackle plastic waste in the Indo-Pacific, with a Plastics Innovation Hub being launched today in Vietnam.
Globally, 75 per cent of plastic produced is becoming waste. To help address this, the Plastics Innovation Hub Vietnam will aim to significantly reduce plastic waste in Vietnam by driving collaboration and using science and innovation to develop real-world solutions.
The Plastics Innovation Hub Vietnam (the Hub Vietnam) is an initiative of Aus4Innovation, a development assistance program sponsored by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), managed and co-funded by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, out of the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, and delivered in partnership with Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
CSIRO Southeast Asia Counsellor, Amelia Fyfield said that collaboration was the key to solving the global plastic pollution challenge.
“CSIRO is excited to collaborate through the Plastics Innovation Hub Vietnam and use our globally renowned science and expertise to work on addressing this problem internationally,” Ms Fyfield said.
“The Plastics Innovation Hub Vietnam differentiates itself by focusing on early-stage initiatives, setting foundations, and aiming to connect participants with key networks.”
The Hub Vietnam will be a vehicle for collaboration, bringing together local communities and governments, researchers, business, and investors to undertake action-based projects to reduce the impacts of plastic waste. It expands the network in the region, following the launch of a Plastic Innovation Hub in Indonesia in March 2022.
Research into plastic in Vietnam has already been undertaken as part of CSIRO’s largest global plastic pollution survey. The goal of this work has been to identify how much and what types of rubbish end up in the environment. Additional work between Australia and Vietnam is also planned for the coming months, as Vietnam looks to develop a national data repository and expand their on-the-ground surveys.
Program Director for Aus4Innovation, Kim Wimbush, said solutions based on science, technology and innovation would support the Vietnamese government’s goals to tackle plastic waste and build a circular economy.
“Reducing plastic waste brings economic and environmental advantages,” Dr Wimbush said.
“Expanding our collaborations across the region will identify new approaches in reducing plastic waste and support Vietnam’s pledge to reduce the flow of plastics into the ocean by 75 per cent by 2030.”
The Plastic Innovation Hub Vietnam is part of CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste Mission, which aims to change the way we make, use, recycle and dispose of plastics.