Located close to Hanoi, Minh Khai village has become the Vietnamese symbol of the outsourcing of plastic waste recycling from countries of the “North” to countries of “the South”. Containers from all over the world arrive at Haiphong port to supply the factories with this so-called “secondary” raw material, sent from Japan, the United States or Europe.
In 2018, an estimated 1000 tons of plastic was unloaded every day at Minh Khai, to be recycled there. These massive stocks contribute to a local waste revalorisation circuit, based mainly on the work of women door-to-door waste collectors who travel on foot or on cycles. Factories employ these poor peasants as workers: in the initial stages of the recycling chain, they are the hands that sort the materials.