Norwegian project to make ocean waste valuable

A Norwegian project is being launched to promote the usage of plastic waste as a source of energy for energy intensive industries, reducing ocean waste and improving energy efficiency. The project will be carried out in five countries, the other four being China, India, Myanmar, and Thailand. Its pilot phase is expected to start at the end of this year.

Dr. Kare Helge Karstensen, chief scientist and programme manager of the project, said:

“[It] aims to investigate how the involvement of resources and energy intensive industries like cement manufacturing can increase the capacity for non-recyclable plastic wastes.”

Grete Lochen, the Norwegian ambassador to Vietnam, said at the launch, that since plastic wastes are made from fossil fuel it can create more energy than coal, and recycling the wste would reduce the amount of plastic dumped in the ocean and the emission of greenhouse gases.

Vietnam is the world’s fourth largest country in terms of discharging plastic wastes into the ocean, with its annual contribution being around 700,000 tonnes

A Waste Management Department official said there was limited segregation of plastic waste, and low-value and recyclable wastes are typically discharged into the environment.

Single use plastic items and plastic bags, which decompose slowly, are problematic, he said.

The project will be carried out in co-ordination with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Việt Nam Environment Administration and various other agencies, international and local organisations and private businesses.

It will push for public-private-partnerships in the collection of plastic waste and its usage in cement plants.

Factories taking part in this project can receive training in and assistance with co-processing, which could reduce their coal consumption by using waste and non-recyclable plastic while being more energy efficient.

This technique does not produce residues that need to be disposed, thus also saving waste processing costs.


About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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