Developing a plastic cycle toward circular economy practice

Tuyet T. A. Nguyen, Yen T. Ta, Prasanta K. Dey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study develops a plastic cycle toward circular economy practice in Vietnam. First, we analyze inter-relationships between economic sectors and environmental issues concerning plastic waste in 2018. The research method integrates interdisciplinary balance with life cycle inventory, in which input–output (IO) table is both an econometric tool and original database to determine plastic IO between industries. As a result, over 60% of plastics after use was recycled for the production process (called recycled plastics) and nearly 40% of plastics after-use left the process (called disposed plastics). Within the recycled plastics, there was 10–15% of informal recycling collection from trade villages; within the disposed plastics, there was 13–18% unable to be collected and uncontrollably disposed to the environment. Then, we construct the plastic cycle, in which all the imported/domestic flows, single/multiple uses, and recycle/disposal flows are represented in proportional dimensions. This overall yet quantitative picture is an important data-driven basis for proposing plastic waste management solutions toward circular economy practice. As analyzed, the most challenge for waste management in Vietnam is to control single-use products (occupied 15.96% of total plastics) and indiscriminate waste in the environment (occupied 20.36% of total plastics). The case study for polyethylene terephthalate shows the need for expanding producer’s responsibilities to improve plastic recovery efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-535
Number of pages10
JournalGreen Processing and Synthesis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 Tuyet T. A. Nguyen et al., published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Thiswork was partly supported by the Newton Fund (grant number: 528201836) and the Ministry of Education and Training (grant number: B2022-BKA-21).


  • plastic cycle
  • IO table
  • solid waste management
  • circular economy
  • Vietnam


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