Welcome to the “Women Driving Circularity” series, part 2. In this part, we feature the inspiring story of Ms. Vo Quoc Thao Nguyen
Nguyen Vo, Founder and Director of Green Joy
The story of Green Joy was aroused by a viral video of a tortoise, puzzled with a plastic straw in his nose, and from the observation of numerous seashores in the central region flooded with waste.
The concern and heavy weight have pushed Nguyen Vo, Founder and Director of Green Joy, to lead the way for a change of her hometown’s coastline. On top of that, the surrounding environment has inspired the woman to seek for solutions from natural resources.
Lepironia grass is a familiar plant growing in the Mekong Delta region, famously known as the materials for traditional handcrafts, but growingly being unused and forgotten. Moreover, the indigenous community has been heavily affected by climate change, droughts, and saltwater intrusion, hence their income and life quality remain remarkably low.
On that note, Green Joy grass straws has been created, aiming at making business based on three pillars: Social – Environmental – Economic Benefits
Environmental benefits: 100% of materials are used to the full, of which 50% is used for the production of grass straws, the remaining 50% is used for surplus handcrafts. The discarded wastes and materials are then transferred into compost, toward to the circular economy model.
Green Joy wins the Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC 2020) of UNDP.
Economic benefits: Promote the value chain of the Long An provincial economy, reduce poverty and improve value of the herbal plant.
Social benefits: Help out local community and farmers in the Mekong Delta region with basic wellbeing and access to medical treatment, education and better healthcare.
Green Joy looks forward to become a pioneer enterprise, bringing the grass straws to international markets, promoting Viet Nam as a contributing country in reducing plastic waste. Join Green Joy on the journey to gradually reduce 5 billion plastic straws to 2025, make a greener and better planet.
Story and photos shared by Ms. Vo Quoc Thao Nguyen
Read how UNDP is advancing a gender-sensitive inclusive Circular Economy: The tactics “3Vs” to drive a gender-inclusive circular economy – Viet Nam Circular Economy