Opportunities to develop a smart and sustainable packaging industry

VCN - The concept of circular economy and sustainability requirements are increasingly influencing packaging design. In particular, highly recyclable packaging is gradually becoming an important part of the packaging process in the food and beverage industry. This is also one of the key factors promoting the development of Vietnam's packaging industry.
Visitors visit the exhibition booth on handling, processing and packaging technology in Vietnam - ProPak Vietnam 2024. Photo: CTV
Visitors visit the exhibition booth on handling, processing and packaging technology in Vietnam - ProPak Vietnam 2024. Photo: CTV

Fast growth

From January 1, 2024, manufacturers and importers of batteries, accumulators, lubricants, tires and packaging must carry out the responsibility of recycling according to required rates and specifications. This is the extended producer responsibility regulation (EPR) under the Environmental Protection Law 2020; At the same time, it is an opportunity for Vietnam to develop a high-tech environmental industry, including packaging recycling activities.

Sharing with reporters within the framework of the 17th International Exhibition on processing and packaging technology in Vietnam - ProPak Vietnam 2024 (taking place in Ho Chi Minh City from April 3 to 5, 2024), Mr. Jeffrey Au, Sales Director of Informa Markets Asia, said that with an average growth rate of 15% to 20% in the coming years, packaging is considered one of the fastest growing industries in Vietnam. More than 900 factories are currently operating in this sector, with about 70% of them located in the Southern region, mainly in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong and Dong Nai.

Overall, the packaging materials market is divided into different segments, including paper and cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, wood, textiles, and other suitable materials such as foam, leather... The majority of sales revenue belongs to the plastic packaging, paper packaging and carton segments, with a ratio of over 80%.

Besides paper packaging, Vietnam's metal packaging market has also grown strongly in recent years, thanks to the increase in the food and beverage industry. The scale of Vietnam's metal box packaging market is estimated to reach US$ 2.11 billion by 2024 and US$ 2.45 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 3.07% during the period. 2024 - 2029.

Sharing about the opportunities of Vietnam's packaging industry, Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, Senior Program Manager of the Department of Economic Development and State Administration of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said that packaging was not only simply a product protection tool, but also played a huge role in increasing product value, especially in the context of our deeper integration into the world economy, customers were smarter and increasingly "defensive" with flowery advertising campaigns and fierce competition from rivals.

In particular, according to economic experts, packaging also directly impacts the brand strength index and has become an indispensable competitiveness, an inevitable part of a business's marketing strategy. Vietnam is a country that receives large foreign investment. Vietnamese products are currently exported to nearly 200 countries and territories around the world, so the development opportunities for the packaging industry are huge. .

Opportunity to export recycled plastic

Although it is assessed to have potential and high growth opportunities in the coming time, the world is tending to reduce and replace plastic products and raw materials due to increasingly strict waste management regulations. Therefore, it requires businesses to have a foresight into the future and gradually transition to a circular production process. The industry's main focus right now is to provide highly recyclable materials, designs and packaging systems, to integrate the plastics industry into the circular economy.

Notably, since the "Race to Net Zero" campaign - reducing net emissions to zero until 2050 was launched by the Vietnamese Government, the concept of circular economy and sustainability requirements are becoming increasingly influence on packaging design. In particular, highly recyclable packaging is gradually becoming an important part of the packaging process in the food and beverage industry. This is also one of the key factors promoting the development of Vietnam's paper packaging industry.

As one of the enterprises on the list of packaging and product recycling enterprises announced by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on February 20, DUYTAN Recycling is known as a pioneer in plastic packaging recycling. Mr. Le Anh, Director of Sustainable Development of DUYTAN Recycling, said that with a capacity of 60,000 tons/year, equivalent to more than 4 billion plastic bottles recycled each year. When operating at maximum capacity, it can reach 100,000 tons, equivalent to 7 billion plastic bottles. In 2023, DUYTAN Recycling collected and recycled 30,800 tons of plastic waste, equivalent to 2.4 billion plastic bottles.

The number of recycled plastic bottles not only provides raw materials for major fast-moving consumer goods partner companies (FMCG) in Vietnam but also export to 12 countries including the United States and Europe with export output is 60%.

To achieve the above certifications, DUYTAN Recycling's entire technology system must ensure evaluation criteria to create products with high quality, value and efficiency; There are research and testing activities to apply high technology, friendly environment, energy saving in production and quality management, technical regulations of Vietnam or internationally.

“This shows that the current recycling industry is no longer a rudimentary industry like before but has the potential to become a recycling technology industry for enterprises meeting high technical standards and international quality to be able to serving the export market”, Mr. Le Anh shared.

By Thu Diu/ Binh Minh

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