Get CLEAN and GREEN: solid and plastic waste management in Lao PDR

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (the Lao PDR) economy has been growing fast in recent decades. Between 1990 and 2019 gross domestic product (GDP) increased by an average annual rate of 6.8 percent and the tourism industry has been a big contributor. This good news story has brought many benefits including a noticeable reduction in poverty, and improvements to health and education outcomes. However, it has also led to rapid urbanization and the accompanying environmental impacts this brings. Waste pollution, especially plastic waste, is a particular issue causing serious environmental, economic and health hazards in the Lao PDR. Recognizing the challenges caused by urbanization, in 2019 the government of the Lao PDR (GOL) approved a National Green Growth Strategy 2030 (NGGS). This strategy is designed to foster economic growth whilst transitioning towards a greener economy that builds human and natural capital, protects the environment, and creates green jobs. The World Bank and the GOL have a strong working relationship going back many years and, amongst other things, are working together on promoting green growth in the country. The Bank is supporting the GOL to generate and convene knowledge that informs the implementation of the Lao PDR's green transition and helping the country build natural and human capital from better management of pollution, waste, and natural resources. The GoL, through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), has requested support from the World Bank for addressing its solid and plastic waste problems, including the development of a National Plastic Action Plan (NPAP) and other potential solid waste management investments. This synthesis document summarizes the findings of this extensive analytical work and provides recommendations for change to support the outcomes of the NGGS, and the 9th NSEDP.

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