From transport to health, food to construction and textiles, plastics are among the most abundant materials in our economy. Globally, the plastic industry is valued at USD 600 billion and provides employment to millions of people worldwide. But plastic pollution has become a crisis of monumental proportions, with 8 million tons ending up in oceans annually. Around the world, different regions face unique challenges ranging from community awareness to waste and recycling capacity, to weak stakeholder engagement.
As in many other East Asian countries, the number of people living in poverty in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam has declined in the past decade. However, persisting poverty in less advantaged geographic areas and ethnic groups is still a challenge. The governments of the three countries were eager to gain practical lessons on innovative Community Driven Development (CDD) models that have been successful in several South Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka.