Department Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development

Amplifying Waste Recovery Solutions – Towards a Circular Society (AWARE)

Project Timeline: March 2022 to February 2025


Vietnam is estimated to have the fourth highest rate of mismanaged plastic waste worldwide with 0.28-0.73 metric tons per year of plastic leaked into the marine environment. Urgent action is needed to address the issue as, with rapid economic growth; waste generation increases rapidly but the waste management capacity lags behind. This contributes to an increased mismanagement and leakage of waste into the environment.1

This applied research project aims to improve the situation of waste management, especially focusing on plastics management and strengthening circular economy. The project:

  • Provides scientific evidence of the current situation and deficiencies to best identify hotspots for strategic intervention.
  • Develops innovative solutions to amplify waste recovery and recycling solutions centred on the principles of a circular economy.

The scientific advances for implementation of such circular solutions, especially for lower- and middle-income contexts such as in Vietnam, is yet lacking on different levels:

a. Methodological – on how to assess plastic sinks and pollution for a city or watershed;

b. Socio-psychological – on how to enhance participation and behaviour change towards more
    circular waste management practices;

c. Technical – regarding appropriate technologies for recycling of mixed plastic fractions.


Research package 1: Plastic Flows and Leakages

Develop and validate science-based monitoring methods and tools for the assessment of plastic pollution at watershed scale.


Research package 2: Behaviour change for household waste segregation

Provide tools and test solutions to enhance behaviour change of waste generators to segregate the waste at source.


Research package 3: Value chain analysis and decision support on plastic recycling

Develop and validate a decision support tool for participatory decision-making in the choice of plastic recycling options towards circular economic concepts.



No publications available yet.

1 Tsai, F.M., Bui, T.-D., Tseng, M.-L., Lim, M.K., Tan, R.R. (2020). Sustainable solid-waste management in coastal and marine tourism cities in Viet Nam: A hierarchical-level approach. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.105266.