Electronics makers ‘forget’ to recall or recycle used products


Under Decree 45/2002 on administrative penalties in the field of environmental protection, developers and owners of projects, management boards of urban areas, apartment and office buildings will be fined 200 to 250 million VND if they do not have equipment, tools and locations to classify waste at source, or collect and store domestic solid waste.

One of the most important contents of the decree is the regulation on the classification, collection, transport, landfilling, dumping, combustion and treatment of solid waste.

The number of technological devices in Vietnam has increased rapidly in recent years, putting pressure on the government.

Waste collection is carried out by scrap dealers. A large amount of electronic waste is transported to the outskirts of large cities and rural areas where the waste is manually dismantled.

This method of processing e-waste causes pollution and affects people’s health. People who are directly involved in recycling and those who live near e-waste landfills have suffered from various types of cancer.

Pursuant to Decision 16/2015/QD-TTg on the collection and treatment of waste of July 1, 2016, certain types of waste, in particular batteries, electrical and electronic devices, lubricants, inner tubes and scrapped tires, needed to be recalled and dealt with.

The recall and treatment of certain waste electrical and electronic devices such as lamps, office machines, mobile phones, tablets, DVD players, televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines had to be implemented.

Electronics manufacturers are responsible for organizing waste collection activities that they sell on the Vietnamese market; and the establishment of waste collection stations.

They are encouraged to receive products similar to what they sell on the market, regardless of brands and manufacturers; and receive scrap products collected by other manufacturers for processing.

Distributors are responsible for partnering with manufacturers to set up e-waste collection points as requested by manufacturers.

However, despite clear regulations, manufacturers always “forget” their responsibility.

A representative of Vietnam Recycles, an alliance of two major tech companies HP and Apple that collects and recycles waste for free, said the organization has only two members – HP and Apple. Microsoft also collected e-waste, but no longer sells phones.

He highlighted a gap in the legal framework related to the treatment of electronic waste. Current regulations outline the responsibilities of electronics manufacturers in recycling e-waste, but do not clearly set specific levels on the percentage of discarded products like in European countries. As a result, many manufacturers have just set up collection centers and recycling remains below expectations.

European countries, Japan, and the United States all have regulations that require manufacturers, retailers, and importers to pay fees for the collection and processing of e-waste. Countries also require electrical and electronic imports to limit the use of hazardous substances such as lead and mercury.

Before that, answering VietNamNet’s question on e-waste treatment, Monina de Vera-Jacob from HP Asia Pacific said that major electronics manufacturers such as LG and Samsung should take responsibility for the collection and recycling of e-waste. used electronic products in Vietnam.

In many European countries, the collection and recycling of electronic waste has been legalized, forcing manufacturers to take responsibility for their products. The required proportion of products to be recycled is 40%, ie all manufacturers must comply with the regulation that for every 100 products sold, there must be 40 products that can be recycled.

Vietnam Recycles is piloting an e-waste recycling model with a new method, whereby all stages of the e-waste processing process are carried out in units inside Vietnam. The result of the process is safe products with maximum resources obtained after recycling.

On November 1, 2021, Vietnam Recycles started applying a new list of products to be collected, focusing on products made by its members. The amendments are intended to comply with amendments to the Environmental Protection Act.

Vietnam Recycles focuses on collecting mobile phones, tablets, CPUs and laptops, LCD and CRT screens, printers, fax machines and scanners, photocopiers and electronic parts related to information technology.

As for devices that are not products produced by alliance members, such as batteries, CRT TVs and household electronics, Vietnam Recycles will not continue to collect them, as the recall and recycling of devices belong to the manufacturers, as stipulated by the law on environmental protection.

thai khang


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