Green Food Festival raises awareness about alternative to plastic products

Green cities
The inaugural Green Food Festival opened at the Parkson Center in Vientiane on Wednesday to raise awareness about alternatives to plastic products.

The event was officially opened by the Deputy Director General of the Department of Environment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Thevarack Phonkeo, the President of the Lao Hotel and Restaurant Association (LHRA), Mr. Pakasith Chanthapany, the Country Director of Swisscontact Laos, Mr. Michael Fink, and the European Union’s Ambassador to Laos, Ms. Ina Marciulionyte. The festival will continue till May 14. 

The festival, jointly organised by LHRA, the Waste to Value Project and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, aims to promote eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics such as straws, cups, and bags that are locally available.

The event is a public private collaboration aimed at raising awareness in line with the National Plastic Action Plan – among businesses and consumers about alternative solutions to single-use plastics, which is one of the most problematic types of waste in Laos.

Green suppliers and vendors at the event have committed to minimise the use of plastic by limiting the use of plastic packaging and utensils during the festival. This is in alignment with the goal of reducing waste and promoting sustainable practices at local events and festivals.

The Green Food Festival is expected to become an annual event to showcase and encourage the use of eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics in different industries. The organisers hope the event will promote sustainable practices and raise awareness of the impact of single-use plastics on the environment.

The festival was made possible with the support of representatives from various organisations, including members of hotel and restaurant associations, green suppliers and vendors of green products in Vientiane, different divisions under the ministry, the department of natural resources and environment of Vientiane, local authorities from Chanthabouly and Xaysettha districts, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the Vientiane Department of Information, Culture and Tourism, the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Vientiane City Office for Management and Service, the National University of Laos, and environment initiatives. Foodpanda is a sponsor of the event.

Green cities
Waste to Value
Swisscontact's Waste to Value project strengthens the environmental performance in service sector SMEs (hotels, restaurants, cafés and mini-marts) by improving their waste management practices and access to green products. The project further strengthens business operations and improves workplace safety for informal waste pickers increasing their income and quality of livelihood. This is complemented with awareness raising among service sector SMEs and the wider population along with encouraging public-private consultation meetings in the Lao PDR in line with national and municipal government strategies.