FLSmidth partners in fight against plastic waste in Vietnam

Cement technology company FLSmidth is working as a technical consultant with Vietnamese waste handling start-up TONTOTON to assist local cement producers in replacing fossil fuels with plastic waste.
Concrete Plants, Equipment & Applications / February 7, 2022
By Liam McLoughlin
The partners aim to cut plastic waste in Vietnam, the world’s third-largest cement manufacturing nation
The partners aim to cut plastic waste in Vietnam, the world’s third-largest cement manufacturing nation

The partnership has been launched to tackle the growing challenge of non-recyclable plastic waste in Vietnam.

Eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year. As the fourth-largest contributor to marine plastic pollution globally, Vietnam wants to buck this harmful trend, which is largely caused by an ineffective waste handling infrastructure.

TONTOTON aims to streamline the plastic waste ‘value chain’ by collecting and recycling large quantities of plastic on behalf of major consumables companies before it reaches the ocean.  

As the world’s third-largest cement manufacturing nation, Vietnam had an annual production of nearly 100 million tonnes in 2020, surpassed only by China and India. The non-recyclable plastic waste can be used in co-processing at cement plants and is therefore a perfect alternative fuel for the Vietnamese cement industry, which today is dependent on large quantities of coal and other fossil fuels. Cement production accounts for 7-8% of the world’s CO2 emissions – with nearly 40% stemming from the combustion of fossil fuels. Adopting alternative fuel sources and waste-to-energy processes will significantly offset the environmental footprint.

As plastic waste volumes grow, companies are under increasing pressure to report on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives, and this includes documenting their waste disposal. Regulators and financial institutions are increasingly monitoring such non-financial factors as an element of business performance, and they often form the basis for a license to operate.

“Together with TONTOTON, we are enabling cement plants in Vietnam to replace traditional fossil fuels with a more environmentally friendly alternative, while also tackling the tremendous waste challenges,” says Carsten Riisberg Lund, cement industry president at Denmark-based FLSmidth. “With our process knowledge, technical expertise within co-processing, and waste-fuel firing equipment, we proud to help facilitate a win-win situation for all parties involved."  

“This partnership is an important step towards unleashing the benefits of the waste-to-energy transition in the Vietnamese cement industry,” says TONTONTON founder and director Barak Ekshtein. “We are excited to have FLSmidth onboard as waste co-processing technical consultant as, together, we aim to close the gap in the plastic waste value chain for the benefit of both our customers and the environment.

Local cement producers interested in getting involved have been asked to TonToTon for information on how to get started.

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