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Vietnam to reclaim electronic waste from July 2016

Thursday, May 28, 2015, 12:05 GMT+7

Waste and dumped electronics in Vietnam will be required to be reclaimed for treatment under a new regulation slated to take effect in July next year, but members of the public are skeptical about its feasibility.

On May 22, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed Decision No.16, stipulating the reclamation and treatment of dumped products.

Starting July 1, 2016, such products as compact fluorescent lamps, personal computers, laptops, cameras, video cameras, cellphones and tablets that are no longer working or in use must be recalled.

The regulation also covers other products such as batteries, tires, and major home appliances including television sets, fridges, air-conditioners and washing machines.

Manufacturers are responsible for reclaiming their products, or for setting up places for consumers to dump the electronic wastes instead of throwing them out into the environment, according to the document.

The manufacturers are also encouraged to reclaim even products they do not make, whereas consumers are required to give away their dumped products to the producers.

The regulation only says the reclaimed products are meant for treatment, but does not elaborate whether they will be recycled.

The rule, however, has received a mixed response from members of the public.

Some say they doubt the feasibility of the rule as it is not a simple task to reclaim all of the electronic wastes in the country.

They are also skeptical of whether the manufacturers will really take action to reclaim their used products.

On the other hand, many supporters say the rule is necessary to prevent Vietnam from becoming a landfill of electronic waste.

Most Vietnamese consumers currently do not know what to do with their used hi-tech devices or major home appliances.

They usually sell them to facilities that collect used electronic products, or call a scrap dealer to pick them up.

Most scrap collecting facilities, however, will later dump the products to landfills or out to the environment.

A similar regulation is also scheduled to be applied to used vehicles at the beginning of 2018.

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