Wednesday 06 March 2019

 

On 28 February 2019, a British Council-supported Policy Dialogue on Waste Management Solutions was held today in Hue city to wrap-up the first year of an innovative project Fostering Creativity for a World without Waste in Thua Thien Hue province. The event was an opportunity for national and international stakeholders, local and community leaders to discuss waste management in Vietnam and the United Kingdom as well as find effective solutions at school level. As a result of the three-year Coca-Cola Vietnam co-supported project, 12 social project groups initiated by high school students have been deployed and delivered positive impacts. 

A range of local and international speakers attended the conference, including Mr Phan Thien Dinh, Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee; Mr Nguyen Tan, Deputy Director of the Department of Education and Training in Hue; Mr Bui Tien Dung, senior specialist of Political-Students Affairs Department; Ms Jakira Khanam, Director of Society, East Asia, British Council; Legal and Public Affairs Director, Indochina Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam Ltd.; Ms Le Tu Cam Ly and teachers, students from three high schools participating in the project.

Globally, plastic production has increased 20-fold in the last 50 years, with this alarming amount of plastic waste enough to cover the earth’s surface four times. Ms Do Van Nguyet, Director of Live & Learn for Environment and Community in Vietnam, said plastic waste often failed to breakdown and waste treatment technology was rudimentary and lacked thorough disposal processes. Burying and burning plastic waste was a serious health threat to communities, due to different toxic substances emitted from these processes.

Ms Joana Santos, Senior Consultant at Wiser Environment, UK, outlined the UK's successful waste management and treatment model that displayed a comprehensive national-level strategy for waste management. It had raised people’s awareness in residential areas to cooperate with authorities, work with organisations specialising in waste management, private businesses and initiatives through educational programmes at schools and community outreach. These national-level strategies will need to be implemented extensively to local governments at all levels in Vietnam. She also stressed the need for recycling from raw materials to design, production and consumption.

Evaluating the project’s outcomes, Mr Dinh praised the results and implementation of many activities in line with the province’s and city’s development agenda in 2019. With efforts from the province, departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism and of Natural Resources and Environment to implement environmental projects to also create economic value, such as the project “Huế Sáng - Xanh – Sạch” (“Hue Bright – Green – Clean”) and the “Chủ nhật Xanh – 60 phút đẹp nhà sạch ngõ” (“Green Sunday – 60 minutes to clean your house and neighbouring area”). The project “Fostering creativity for a World without Waste” at schools was a good example of coordination between local departments managing and raising awareness on waste management.

Ms. Le Tu Cam Ly said the project was only a first step and needed to be cascaded with involvement from local authorities, besides the roles of partners and sponsors. In the conference, all participants agreed environmental projects, especially on waste management, needed strong local government support to achieve sustainability objectives. 

Through the project “Fostering Creativity for a World without Waste”, teachers and students were equipped with knowledge and skills on waste management and were inspired to be active citizens to deliver meaningful changes in communities towards sustainable development. 

Ho Huu Tuong, a student from Quoc Hoc Hue high school, spoke on behalf of 12 environmental social project groups from three high schools - Quoc Hoc Hue, Cao Thang and Huong Thuy: “Xà phòng Xanh (Green Soap) is not only a environmental project that produces safe and environmentally-friendly soaps, but through it we hope to change consumers’ awareness.” 

He said more than 100 orders from dozens of customers were made and subsequently received positive comments. “That is also our mission, to spread the active citizens’ spirit in our community and bring positive changes among people. Thanks to our project and 11 other social projects presenting here today, we have partly understood the actual environmental situation in our province,” he shared. “Community values had been strongly developed by all projects, such as Babylon Hanging Garden, The Shark, Eco Garden, Polymer Bricks and the Green Soap project from Cao Thang high school. Each project has its own values and specific missions, but they all affirm one key value: to build a creative and dynamic image of Thua Thien Hue youth, to always have interesting ideas to build a more beautiful and cleaner city,” Tuong emphasised.

Mr Bui Tien Dung, representative of the Ministry of Education and Training, said: “For entrepreneurship education, the core mission is to discover talents and encourage the creative spirit of students. We appreciate this pilot project of the British Council, Coca-Cola and partners. From capacity and active citizen-building for teachers, the programme has been cascaded to students in schools. From the success of this project, I hope Thua Thien-Hue’s Department of Education and Training will maintain and expand it to other provinces to spread the spirit of active citizens and promote students’ creativity.”

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact:

Hanh Le (Ms.)
Communications Manager
British Council
20 Thuy Khue
Tay Ho
Hanoi
Vietnam
T +84 (0)24 38436780 (ext.1957)
F +84 (0)24 38434962
hanh.le@britishcouncil.org.vn

Hai Doan (Ms.)
Programme Manager Society, Education and Society
British Council
20 Thuy Khue
Tay Ho
Hanoi
Vietnam
T +84 (0)24 38436780 (ext.1957)
F +84 (0)24 38434962
hai.doan@britishcouncil.org.vn

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. www.britishcouncil.org 

About Coca-Cola Vietnam

Coca-Cola is one of the best-known international brands in Vietnam. Coca-Cola Vietnam's factories in Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang and Ha Noi create some 4,000 direct jobs while supporting a further number of indirect jobs, which is six- to eight-time higher, through the company’s value chain. Aiming to become a comprehensive, consumer-centric beverages company, Coca-Cola has continuously invested in product innovation and provided a diversity of quality beverages products, including less-sugar and zero-sugar product lines, while diversifying packaging and expanding business coverage. The Company's portfolio in Vietnam includes Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta, Minute Maid Nutriboost, Minute Maid Teppy, Schweppes, Dasani and Aquarius. Since 2017, to meet the fast changing in tastes and demands of consumers, Coca-Cola Vietnam has proactively diversified its high-quality portfolio with the promotion of packaged juice and tea products like Fuzetea+ and Georgia canned RTD coffee. Coca-Cola Vietnam has considered sustainable development as the core of its business activities which include organizing safe and healthy working environment, setting priority to training employees. Several sustainable development projects were also expressed by detailed goals of energy saving, effective water use and water balance. Coca-Cola continues building sustainable communities in locations where the company operates. From 2010, Coca-Cola has invested millions of USD in community projects in Vietnam, including projects building EKOCENTER, providing clean water, empowering women and local SMEs, supporting families in hardship, and sending disaster relief. For more details, please find out more about Coca-Cola Journey Vietnam at: www.cocacolavietnam.com