Beyond Plastic

Beyond Plastic

OCTOBER 31st 2018 – APRIL 31st 2019



Project name: Beyond Plastic

Project location: SALA Campus, Other VAS campuses and various supermarkets around Saigon

Proposed started date: November 1st – April 31st 2019

Project duration: 6 months

Amount requested from VAS Community Fund (VND)

Project leader:                    Ian Horsewood                                                          SALA

Project team members:     Ho Quynh ANh                                   7.1                   SALA

Nguyen Doan An Di                           7.1                   SALA

Le Ngoc Hai Yen                                7.1                   SALA

Project instructor: Ian Horsewood                                    Secondary Global Perspectives, SALA




1.    Project Overview

This section should provide a brief introduction to the background of your choice to propose this project, its objectives, beneficiaries, location and overview of schedule to execute]

Take a look around Saigon and it is quickly evident that there is a plastic problem.  Research supports what our eyes see, as Vietnam is currently ranked 4th in the world in terms of mismanaged plastic. However, we, the SALA Environmental Club see this as an opportunity to seize, not something to dwell on.

The SALA Environmental Club is hoping to implement a pay-it-forward type program that reduces the number of plastic bags being used at our convenient stores and grocery stores in this city. We want to tackle this problem with two different approaches.

First off, we want to offer free tote bags to all families at VAS SALA campus. Although the bags will be given away free of charge, we will be asking for any donations. The money raised will be used to buy more tote bags for VAS families at other campuses.

Once all the tote bags have been distributed to students at the SALA campus we will encourage families to use the tote bags by having an online competition. We want families to post photos online, or send them to us to share online, using the hashtag, #VASBeyondPlastic. We hope that this online platform will help everyone see others doing their part and encourage the use of the tote bags through a friendly competition.

The other part of our project is to work in conjunction with large, local businesses to try and reduce the amount of plastic bags used at convenient stores (such as Family Mart, Circle K etc.) and supermarket chains (such as Co-opMarket, Big C etc.).  Not only will we write and speak to these companies asking them to consider plastic reducing methods that have been successful in other parts of the world, but we will also ask these companies if they would be willing to sponsor our tote bag project.  If a company is willing to donate money to our campaign we will include their company logo on our totes. We would also like to ask permission to have VAS students stand outside their stores and give away our totes (again for free, while asking for a donation – all the money raised would go to buying more totes) and inform people of the importance of using less plastic.

The amount of money we received through donations and company support would somewhat dictate just how long our project would run, but if we were, sadly, only to receive funding from the VAS Community Service project the time-line would be as follows:


2.    Project implementation and management plan

This section should be inclusive of:

Conducting Student Petitions & Writing to Companies (November 1st – December 21st)

The first part of the plan is to have the SALA Environmental Club go around to the classes at SALA and give a short presentation on our plan and idea.  After students have been informed of what we plan to do, we will ask those concerned students to sign a petition (Appendix 1) to show that they care about the cause.  (November 1st – November 9th)


After successfully completing, gathering and digitizing the petitions, the project instructor of the SALA Environmental Club (Ian Horsewood) will get in touch with the Student Council teacher advisors at the various VAS campuses and have their student members complete the same petition around their campuses.  (November 13th – November 24th)


Upon collecting and scanning as many petitions as the SALA Environmental Club can from the various VAS campuses around Saigon, the students will complete letters and/or emails, which they will then send to companies which use a lot of plastic bags around Saigon.  Attached (see Appendix 2) is list of some of our targeted companies, their addresses and their email addresses.

As mentioned above in the overview, these letters will serve three purposes.

The first part of our letter (see appendix 3 for sample letter) will ask these companies to consider strategies or ideas to reduce the use of plastic bags. These requests are specific to the different types of businesses and are based on strategies and policies that have worked in other cities and countries (many of which have a similar make-up and demographic as Saigon)


The second part of our letter will ask these companies if they would be willing to provide a donation to pay for reusable tote bags that we can then distribute to families across Saigon.  If any of these companies agree to sponsor our project we will include their logo on the final design of our tote bag to promote their brand and show that they care about the environmental movement happening in this city.


The third part of our letter would ask for permission to distribute tote bags outside their stores on a particular date in the future.  We would hand out the bags free of charge, and try to inform the citizens of Saigon the importance of using less plastic.  We would also accept any donations at this time – all proceeds would be used to buy more reusable bags to distribute outside a different store. (November 27th – December 21st)


Tote Design & Bag Ordering (January 7th – January 25th)


The major design aspects of the tote bag will already be completed by this point.  One side will contain the VAS school logo.  The other side will have a clear, but simple message, written in Vietnamese to try and raise awareness about reducing plastic use.  At this point the SALA Environmental Club will also include the logos of any company that contributed to our campaign to show our appreciation.  The number of bags that are printed will depend on the amount of donations we receive from other companies.  However, we intend to have at least 500 bags made with the money given to us by the VAS Community Cares Project. (January 7th – January 25th)


SALA Tote Distribution and Competition (February 11th – March 11th)


The SALA Environmental Club will make a presentation during a Monday morning assembly at SALA to kick-start the campus wide tote competition.  Each family will be given a tote bag, although we will ask for any amount of money as a donation to contribute to the cost of the bag.  Once each student has received a tote, we will begin an online competition to see who can use their reusable bag instead of a plastic bag.  VAS families will be encouraged to take photos of themselves at the store using their tote bags. They can then post their photos using the hashtag #VASbeyondplastic or email their photo to our email account so we can post the picture ourselves.  It is our hope that by having families able to see other families using the bags that this will encourage them to use theirs.  Also, we hope to use some of our funding to offer prizes to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place families.  We are thinking that gift certificates (1M VND, 500,000 VND and 250,000 VND) to a grocery store would be a suitable prize at this time.  February 11th – March 11th


Tote Distribution Across Other Campuses and Around the City (March 11th – April 31st)


The success and scope of this final part is dependent upon the success of the SALA competition and the willingness and sponsorship of companies across Saigon.  With the additional funding from the VAS Community Cares Programme and monetary support we have gathered through family donations and corporate sponsorship, the SALA Environmental Team, along with the support of the English Ambassadors and Student Council, would branch out and widen the scope of the project.


At this point, we will either try to replicate the success of our SALA competition at another campus, and/or, hand out free tote bags outside the businesses that helped support our efforts.  Not only would we give away free bags, but we would inform citizens of the importance and give them a small reward if we saw them leaving the store having used our bag.


Again, the scope of this portion of the project is dependent on the success of the project before this point.

(March 11th – April 31st)


  1. Expected ResultsThe very least that we expect is that VAS families, across several campuses, receive a VAS reusable tote bag and use it on a regular basis when shopping around town. We hope to inform families of the importance of using these bags and encourage them to use them whenever possible and significantly reduce the number of plastic bags they use in a year.

We also hope that a few of the businesses in Saigon take our suggestions of how to reduce the amount of plastic they offer customers (without disrupting their business practice).  We feel that if any of these large companies were to implement the strategies we suggest we would make a significant impact on the amount of plastic being used in this city.  We also believe that other companies would feel an obligation to join the movement and adopt a similar practice.

If things go well and we receive donations from VAS families and/or outside corporations, it is our hope that we will help spread the message about using these totes across the city of Saigon.  Because we are basing our model on a pay-it-forward scheme, we cannot quite know just how many totes we will be able to provide to people outside of VAS, but it is our hope that this project will be broad in its scope.

Unintended Effects, Possible Challenges and How They Will Be Addressed

We feel that perhaps the biggest challenge might be to get the attention of big businesses across the city and have them implement our suggestions.  Evidence shows that the best way to have a meaningful impact on the environment is from the top down. While the individual can make choices which can positively affect the environment, it will be governments and corporations, through effective policy, that ultimately have the most impact. We will address this challenge by having VAS SALA students physically go to the companies’ Saigon headquarters and speak with representatives and PR people.  If possible we will also try to include a local newspaper to help us cover the story in order to increase awareness and put some social pressure on the companies to join our campaign.  It is our hope that by giving these companies a positive brand image we might be able to attract their attention and give them some good publicity for joining this worthy cause.

Another unintended, and foreseeable effect might occur during the SALA bag competition.  Because we would like to offer a sizeable prize (perhaps 1,000,000 VND worth of free groceries) we do have to be concerned that some people might abuse our photo / hashtag campaign in order to try and win.  We will try to address this during our campaign and when we give presentations to the entire school.  It is our hope that we will be able to inform students that the reason we are doing this is to improve the environment, and ultimately any deceit or underhanded behavior will affect the environment.

As we are a small group, whose voice may be difficult to amplify, we will also try to team-up with organizations that are already established in the city like zerowastesaigon to offer us suggestions and support along the way.

  1. This project will be overseen and run by the SALA Environmental Club team. If we are fortunate enough to receive this grant, our club will try to recruit more students here at SALA to help us implement the various parts of our project.Overall, the project will be overseen by the Environmental Club teacher advisor, Ian Horsewood.  While he has no experience running an environmental campaign of this scope and magnitude, he is well informed on the subject and willing to work extremely hard to make this project work.  As previously mentioned, we will team-up with organizations within the city that are already established to help support us and provide us with helpful information.

    Also, Danial Hogg, head of Sala Secondary, has provided and will continue to provide his support in any way he can on this project.

    As for scope and responsibilities, we feel that this is laid out and clear within part A of this section of the report.  All key players, responsibilities and dates can be found in bold.


Project monitoring and evaluation

We feel that most of the concerns regarding monitoring and evaluation have been taken care of within this document already.

The signing of petitions can easily be monitored by Ian Horsewood and Danial Hogg.  Because Ian Horsewood has connections to the Global Perspectives email list and works with Student Council, he would be able to pass along the information necessary to other VAS campus’s Global Perspective teachers or Student Council advisors to help receive as many signatures as possible.


The part of project that requires us to get in contact with companies around the city can be monitored by you and your team as we can ‘cc’ you on the emails and provide you with updates as to our success with these companies.

Tote design will hopefully be done by the Mekong Company, which are school has apparently already worked with to make similar bags.

The success of our online SALA competition can be monitored by following our Facebook page that we will create or using the hashtag #VASbeyondplastic.

The last part of this project, which would be to replicate the success (hopefully) of our SALA competition could be monitored by any concerned group by following our progress and success on our Facebook page.  We also hope to get some media coverage as student led initiatives regarding the environment are popular news stories at the moment.

3.    Budget

PROJECT NAME: Beyond Plastic
Group name: SALA Environemntal Club
Campus name: SALA
Class: Many
  STAGE 1 Reusable Tote Bags 500  500  7000                        –   3,500,000
    TOTAL OF STAGE 1                          –  
  STAGE 2  Gift Certificates for SALA tote contest 5   2,500,000                      2,500,000
     Marketing and Mailing Assistance N/A    1,000,000                        1,000,000
     Possibly more tote bags, depending on success of company support 500 500                         – 3,500,000 
    TOTAL OF STAGE 2                          –  
    TOTAL     10,500,000



Approval and Authority to Proceed [This part is for Organizers]

We approve the project as described above, and authorize the team to proceed with the Amount of

____________________ VND (by words: __________________________________________________________)

Name Title Date


Approved By Date Approved By Date


Appendix 1

Dear VAS students,

Please sign the following petition if you are concerned with the amount of plastic being used in Saigon and this country. This petition is being sent to large businesses across the city, asking them to consider policies and actions that could reduce the number of plastic bags being used.  Of course these companies are not to blame for this problem, but they can make a significant and immediate impact that will benefit everyone.  If you support us in this endeavor, please sign the following petition.  Thank you.


Name Signature Name Signature

Appendix 2
Convenient Stores

Family Mart

Address: 123 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh city

Circle K

Lot II, Hong Linh Plaza, Street 9A, Trung Son Zone, Binh Hung Ward, Binh Chanh District
Ho Chi Minh City

[We have more of these types of companies and addresses that we would like to contact]

Grocery Stores
5th floor, 322 Dien Bien Phu St., Binh Thanh Dist., Ward 22, HCMC
Tel:(028) 38235800

Co-op Market

Address: 199-205 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: (84-8) 38.360.143 – Fax: (84-8) 38370560
Website: //

Appendix 3

Dear Super C company,

We are writing this letter on behalf of the future citizens of Saigon and the wildlife that is affected by our overuse of plastic.

Attached are the names of over __[insert number of signatures here]___ Vietnam Australia International School (VAS) students who are concerned about the country’s overuse of plastic and want to take action.

There is no disputing that this is a serious global problem. As recently reported in National Geographic, 6.3 billion tonnes of all the plastic that has been created in world has never been recycled.  This plastic is underground and floating in our oceans, where it has affected (and killed) millions of marine species. To make matters worse, research shows that Vietnam is one of worse countries in the world for mismanaging plastic waste. This is why, we the students of VAS, who will be the future of this city and country, want, with your help, to do something about this problem.

We want to make a few things clear. First off, we are in no way suggesting that Super C is responsible for the current plastic problem, nor do we want to interfere with the way you run your business or make things difficult for your customers.  What we do want, is to work with your company to try and change the way this country uses and thinks about plastic.

The plastic situation that the world and this country currently faces is a big one, and as such, we need to search for big solutions and work with big companies to make a change.  Research and practises in other countries suggest that the best way to have a meaningful impact on the environment is to make policy changes at the top, as opposed to trying to persuade thousands of individuals to make slight changes.

We hope you consider our following suggestions and join us as we try to work towards a new way of using plastic here in this city and country. Like many cities and countries around the world, perhaps a small tax for the use of plastic bags of 3000 to 5000 VND per plastic bag could help reduce the number of bags used.  Washington D.C. has seen an 85% decrease in its plastic bag consumption since implementing a 5-cent tax on bags in 2009.  Other major supermarket chains have implemented plastic-free days one day a month.  Signs are posted throughout the store and shoppers are encouraged to buy a reusable bag or use cardboard boxes provided by the store.

We would be honored if your store, with its large reach within this city would consider taking the first steps in this country to improve our environment and helping people become more aware of their plastic behaviour.

We are also wondering if you might be interested in sponsoring our campaign to reduce the number of plastic bags in the city, by issuing free, reusable tote bags to the citizens of Saigon. We are starting our campaign within our school campuses but would like to branch out beyond the school. If your company would be willing to provide a donation to our cause to buy tote bags that we can distribute to citizens we would include your logo on our tote to show that your company and brand is committed to this important cause.

Again, we feel that meaningful change will come from those who have the most reach and greatest power and we believe Super C is a company that could help us achieve this goal.


6000 VAS students and future planet earth adults