Dow and DEEP C signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on April 17 in Hanoi on building the first road using recycled plastics, at the DEEP C Industrial Complex in the northern city of Hai Phong.
The project aims to divert post-use flexible packaging from becoming litter or entering a landfill, while also creating more durable, longer-lasting roads.
Road to be built at DEEP C Industrial Complex in northern Hai Phong city. Photo by Dow
The first one-kilometer stretch, to be completed in September, will use nearly four metric tons of flexible packaging - the equivalent of roughly 1 million pieces of flexible wrappers - which will be supplied by Dow customers in the surrounding areas. Upon completion, the new road will be tested by the Vietnam Maritime University, with the project to be expanded throughout the complex.
“Dow has a strong commitment to ending plastic waste, in part by finding innovative ways to transform plastic waste into new products,” said Mr. Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, General Director of Dow Vietnam.
“We developed more than 90 km of asphalt roads containing plastic waste in India, Indonesia, Thailand and the US, which provides us with foundational knowledge that we can apply in this project in Vietnam.”
Advancing a circular economy was identified as one of Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals in 2015. Roads developed with recycled plastic demonstrates that plastic waste can be a valuable renewable resource.
The plastic waste used in the project is mostly post-consumer flexible packaging, such as polyethylene film. After cleaning, drying and shredding the material, the plastic is mixed with asphalt at a temperature of around 150-180C.
At this temperature, the plastic completely melts and bonds with the asphalt, resulting in longer-lasting, more durable roads. Roads enhanced with recycled plastics also have the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by replacing part of the bitumen needed in the asphalt.
“DEEP C pioneers building and converting industrial zones into eco-industrial parks,” said Mr. Do Quang Hung, first Deputy General Director of the DEEP C HP I & III/Dinh Vu Industrial Zone JSC.
“One of the main goals under the eco-park initiative is promoting industrial symbiosis to mitigate and decrease industrial waste.”
The project will engage local governments, waste collectors, and the plastics industry’s value chain to tackle marine debris and plastic waste in Vietnam and develop better end markets for plastic waste. This cross-industry collaboration shows the commitment each organization has to advancing a circular economy and reducing the amount of waste in the environment.
“A circular economy has been known as a solution for eco-friendly, durable, and sustainable prosperity,” said Mr. Nguyen Quang Vinh, Secretary General of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VCCI-VBCSD).
“As it is one of our priorities to realize the Sustainable Development Goals at VCCI-VBCSD, we highly appreciate this initiative by Dow as a strong contribution in reducing plastic waste and transforming urban mobility in Vietnam.”
Vietnam is currently one of the top producers of plastic waste, with urban areas like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City seeing an estimated 80 metric tons of plastic waste entering the environment as litter every day.
VN Economic Times