This project aims to develop a collaborative, innovative, postgraduate educational study unit aimed at the Asia-Pacific region to identify approaches for recycling plastics. The final outcome of this project – the RePLACE course – aims to provide in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of key concepts related to recycling and its applications at different levels.
As the Asia-Pacific region continues to experience rapid economic and population growth, the problem of plastic waste entering soil, rivers and oceans and causing damage to environments and biota will only magnify. Globally, 275 million tonnes of plastic waste is produced every year, with 99.5 million tonnes entering oceans consistently. It is estimated that China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are responsible for more than 60% of the plastic waste entering the world’s oceans. To address this, sustainable practices to reduce plastic disposal and to encourage reuse and recycling need to be adopted globally. Developing countries with documented poor plastic waste management can benefit from the experiences of developed countries, and perhaps develop their own successful strategies for recycling plastic. Educational institutions can also play a bigger role by incorporating plastic recycling strategies into course material, and in turn develop models that will provide a common framework for major environmental (land, water and marine) issues and management in developing countries.
Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City