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Assessment of plastic waste generation and its potential recycling of household solid waste in Can Tho City, Vietnam


Plastic solid waste has become a serious problem when considering the disposal alternatives following the sequential hierarchy of sound solid waste management. This study was undertaken to assess the quantity and composition of household solid waste, especially plastic waste to identify opportunities for waste recycling. A 1-month survey of 130 households was carried out in Can Tho City, the capital city of the Mekong Delta region in southern Vietnam. Household solid waste was collected from each household and classified into ten physical categories; especially plastic waste was sorted into 22 subcategories. The average household solid waste generation rate was 281.27 g/cap/day. The compostable and recyclable shares respectively accounted for high percentage as 80.74% and 11%. Regarding plastic waste, the average plastic waste generation rate was 17.24 g/cap/day; plastic packaging and plastic containers dominated with the high percentage, 95.64% of plastic waste. Plastic shopping bags were especially identified as the major component, accounting for 45.72% of total plastic waste. Relevant factors such as household income and household size were found to have an existing correlation to plastic waste generation in detailed composition. The household habits and behaviors of plastic waste discharge and the aspects of environmental impacts and resource consumption for plastic waste disposal alternatives were also evaluated.

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Correspondence to Nguyen Phuc Thanh.

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Thanh, N.P., Matsui, Y. & Fujiwara, T. Assessment of plastic waste generation and its potential recycling of household solid waste in Can Tho City, Vietnam. Environ Monit Assess 175, 23–35 (2011).

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  • Plastic waste
  • Household solid waste
  • Plastics recycling
  • Generation rate
  • Physical composition