What Happens to Plastic Bags in Vientiane?

Social Environment Research Consultants (SERC) has the answer. Specializing in the field of social research in the Greater Mekong Region since 1998, SERC is a a successful independent research consultancy based in Vientiane. Most of our work involves research into public health, public education, and community development issues in such areas as HIV/AIDS, drug use, health services, nutrition and labor migration.  We are also concerned about environmental dangers and in particular, the reduction of plastic consumption in Vientiane.

A 2008 research study by SERCASIA estimated that the 600,000 inhabitants of Vientiane use 20 plastic bags a month each, adding up to 144 million bags a year. It is also estimated that nearly 95% of users don’t know where theirplastic bags wind up and less than 15% of used bags were recycled. Going beyond the numbers, SERCASIA has produced a film “From Banana Leaves to Plastic Bags” to focus discussion on how plastic waste impacts the health of individuals and the environment.

The short film follows a plastic bag collector and plastic recyclers in Vientiane to explain what happens to waste and what can be done to recycle more of it.

The file can be viewed on You Tube by following this link:




SERCASIA is available to show the video and discuss recycling in Vientiane. Formore information, visit or call 020 224 18398