The number and demand for cars and motorbikes are forecast to continue increasing, creating problems in discarded vehicles. — VNA/VNS Photo

With the number of active vehicles growing alongside ambitious development goals, experts suggest that Vietnam needs to look into recycling discarded vehicles in the near future.

The 2020 Law on Environmental Protection said that from 2024, manufacturers and importers of six types of products, which are batteries and accumulators, electronics, tyres and tubes, mechanic oil, transport vehicles and packages, will need to fulfil their product recycling responsibilities.

Specifically, car and motorbike manufacturers will have to retrieve discarded vehicles from the public for recycling, starting in 2027.

Speaking to VietnamPlus online newspaper, deputy director of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE), Dr Nguyen Trung Thang, said statistics revealed that Vietnam has 4.5 million cars and 60 million motorbikes currently in use.

With the aim to become a middle-income country in 2030 and a developed country in 2050, experts forecast that the number and demand for these vehicles will continue to increase.

Dr Thang said: “In reality, there are many challenges in retrieving outdated vehicles for recycling, as well as the fulfillment of extended producer responsibility (EPR).”

On the latter matter, Thang added that recycling discarded items, including vehicles, is a necessary measure in the context where the world is heading towards the circular economy, reducing the use of natural resources, maximising the cycles of materials, and decreasing waste types that affect the environment.

ISPONRE is deploying a project on the research and proposals of solution and mechanism for vehicle disposal, he said.

The overall objective of the project is to develop and complete the regulations on the disposal and retrieval of vehicles in accordance with the circumstances in Vietnam, while responding to the requirements of the circular economy.

The research will elaborate on international experiences in EPR policies, supporting policies to conduct EPR with transport vehicles, reviewing the actual situation of disposal, retrieval and recycling of outdated vehicles, and proposing a policy model and solution to take action in this matter.

The institute is also working with Vietnam Association of Motorbike Manufacturers (VAMM) and Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) to conduct research on the mechanism to retrieve discarded vehicles, in accordance with the 2020 environmental protection law.

Sunil Herat, an associate professor of waste management and circular economy from Griffith University, Australia, suggested that Vietnam adopt standards on discarded vehicles, which is a practice in several countries like Japan or Singapore.

He added that these vehicles would also require a certificate of destruction (COD) issued by authorised facilities, which should be considered a condition for deregistration.

Regarding the financial scheme in the recycling process, Herat proposed two options - either a fully-funded recycling programme by manufacturers and importers through a recycling fund; or they and their consumers will have to share the costs.

Thang believed that these are excellent recommendations that Vietnam can study further.

He said: “The standards on discarded vehicles are necessary. However, for example, our transport sector only has just one decree regulating the expiration date of public transport vehicles and not personal ones.” 

Source: Vietnam News