Businesses in Vietnam are calling for reconsideration of proposed recycling packaging costs within the country’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s (MONRE) new draft regulation, Việt Nam News reported.

During a seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City, affiliated companies argued that the proposed costs would result in price rises for both businesses and consumers.

The MONRE recently released a draft decree on the Environmental Protection legislation, which sees packaging manufacturers and importers now responsible for recycling the products and packaging they manufacture or import from 1 January 2024.

Alternatively, manufacturers and importers can opt to pay the Vietnam Environmental Protection Fund to recycle for them.

The extended producer responsibility scheme is based on the Environmental Protection law LEP 72/2020/QH14, and Decree No 08/2022/ND-CP, which was issued on 10 January 2022.

Through this scheme, the MONRE will issue specific recycling norms for each type of product and each type of packaging. It can be amended every three years.

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AmCham Vietnam’s HCM City chapter executive director James Ollen was quoted by Việt Nam News as saying: “It is unreasonable to require businesses and the 100 million Vietnamese consumers, who are already facing significant challenges, to provide additional support to already profitable recyclers.

“Businesses should be granted the flexibility to pursue a hybrid approach, combining both self-recycling and recycling support payments for a specific type of packaging/product…instead of obligating them to choose either option since the law and guidelines do not explicitly restrict such an approach.

“Lastly, we strongly advocate for the government to introduce favourable policies to promote environment-friendly packaging and encourage the use of recycled materials.”