Celebrating progress: Zero waste partners in Vietnam

Xuan Quach, Vietnam Plastic Team Lead
Date: December 11, 2023
A student at Dong Ngac Elementary School works on art showcasing plastic’s negative environmental impacts. 

Five years into the start of our initiative to eliminate plastic pollution in Vietnam, I feel immense pride in how much Pacific Environment and our partners have accomplished with our Zero Waste movement.

Our goal: minimize single-use waste, reduce consumption, and ensure that products are made to be reused. Each passing year sees our movement expand in Vietnam — into new schools and new communities, all to build a zero-waste Vietnam. The progress we made in 2023 reaffirms our commitment to drive positive change across the country and reflects a collective dedication to a lasting transformation by educating all of Vietnam’s children in zero-waste practices.

Allow me to share a story of our Zero Waste Movement this year:

Since October 2022, the “Single-Use Plastic Reduction and Reuse Promotion” project at schools has implemented transformative waste-reduction initiatives. With our guidance and support, the students at Dong Ngac Elementary School in Bac Tu Liem District have championed waste separation, reduced plastic usage, and developed eco-friendly practices like using paper covers instead of plastic for their books. They have become front runners in our collaboration on a zero-waste future. Overall, our collaborative efforts have led to replacing 100% of all single-use items with reusable items for all students and staff!

Students at Dong Ngac Elementary School display “Say No To Plastic” art projects. 

This year, we expanded our commitment to zero-waste education efforts from individual success stories like this one to a national scale across Vietnam.

Together with our local partner, the Center for Adaptive Capacity Building Research (CAB), we launched a nationwide curriculum that allows both students and teachers to create a plastic-free education.

We translated an international manual promoting a plastic-free education to Vietnamese, and in the summer, we organized the inaugural workshop, engaging with over 150 educators and government officials across different education levels in Vietnam. The valuable feedback received from participants is shaping the future of zero-waste education in Vietnam.

Inaugural plastic-free workshop with educators across Vietnam.

As we move into 2024, we are collaborating with CAB to roll out a revised curriculum and identify more teacher trainers and push for national adoption. Our goal is to add our curriculum to Vietnam’s official public-school curriculum. 

The road ahead is demanding, and today, I want to personally invite you to join our meaningful journey. Your support empowers lasting change, one school at a time in Vietnam and beyond. 

Join us as we navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for this ambitious goal. Your generosity this year will propel us to expand our impact and hasten our progress. Together, let’s champion a sustainable, waste-free Vietnam. 

Thank you for standing with us on this path to a brighter future for my home country, and the world.