Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

Where are your products made ?
Most of our products are made in Saigon, Long An, or Hanoi. We are working to encourage local economies and we try to avoid importing products whenever possible.

However, our philosophy is that it is better to import a reusable product than to offer no alternative to a single use plastic item.

What is the goal of Zero Waste Saigon ?

To reduce waste as much as we can. We do this through education and waste reduction techniques gathered from all parts of the world.

What does it cost to operate this project ?

Our approach to waste reduction has 3 goals:

Inspire people to change their habits.

Provide the tools necessary to make the change.

Guide them through the change.

This translates into: education and awareness campaigns, sourcing and product development, consultation and certification.

Each of these has separate funding mechanisms which are best suited to the particular goal.

The education and awareness campaigns are sponsored donations. A way for the future generation to teach the younger generation.

We test and sell sustainable alternatives though our online portal. This model has allowed us to rapidly prototype and test various solutions and get quick market feedback.

We help organizations employ strategies to reduce their waste. We provide talks, events, reduction programs, vendor support, product sourcing and communications.

We then help organizations get certified who are willing to committ to a 90% reduction in waste.

Needless to say our accountant has their work cutout for them. We are working on the best way to share our income and costs with you.


How do you fund this project ?

Julia has her Airbnb management company in Paris & Saigon :

Michael is a teacher online.

We have a sponsor for our education program which pays for staff salaries and transportation.

We also collect funds from selling products on the store.

What are the projects you are working on ?

A seed bank

Compost gardens

Finding the best partners

How are you a non-profit if you sell products?

Lots of non-profits sell products. It allows us another revenue stream rather than just relying on donations.

Our product sales go to fund our other programs. With this particular waste problem it makes more sense to sell a product rather than just solicit donations.

For instance, if we were to take donations to make and give away bamboo straws to people so they would stop using plastic ones we would make a good difference in the short term. But we would stifle the ingenuity that would fix the problem in the long term.

Instead we use a free market approach which allows for new invention, price competition and market feedback. This is what led to the grass straw which has significant advantages over the bamboo straw for many types of businesses.

We have committed to a salary cap and all excess funds go to our social programs. 

Are you guys actually zero waste?

If by zero waste you mean do we create no trash and never throw away plastic then the answer is no, we are not zero waste.

Zero waste is a philosophy. It is an ideal that we try to come closer to. We have learned that what we need is a lot of people doing zero waste imperfectly rather than just a few people doing zero waste perfectly. Let’s work together.

Why the minimun order is 250.000 VND?

Having the limited order, we can reduce the harm to the environment around delivering.

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