International Consultant - Policy analysis and feasibility study on plastic waste and packaging alternatives in food sector

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UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

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LA Home-based; Vientiane (Laos)

Application deadline 6 months ago: Sunday 10 Jul 2022 at 23:59 UTC

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This is a International Consultant contract. More about International Consultant contracts.


In Laos, disposal of municipal solid waste is one of the major environmental problems. Waste is a problem for more than just a town; other suburbs, villages and households are afflicted by the same problem. According to the World Bank, Vientiane itself, home to more than 900,000 people, produced more than 350,000 tons in 2020). Food and drink packaging is the biggest type of plastic waste found in many studies. During the Covid-19 lockdown 2020, an interesting trend was identified by UNDP. It was evidenced that the use of food delivery services had increased significantly. In the period of less than two months, GoTeddy and Food Panda in Laos estimated the number of online orders grown from roughly between 100-200 to around 1200-2000 orders per day. Moreover, the number of local restaurants and small shops registered on both platforms have also multiplied three folds from 50 in January, to 150 in May 2020.

In order to understand more, UNDP teamed up with a local startup GoTeddy to conduct an experiment in testing opt-in feature for more eco-friendly packaging with some affiliated restaurants on their food delivery app in early 2021. Initially, it was hoped that 20 % of participating restaurants would turn to eco-friendly packaging as a result of this campaign. According to the findings of the post-campaign poll, the majority of them would prefer to convert, but only if the packaging price was inexpensive and subsidized. Aside from price, two other important considerations were packing sizes and availability in the local market. In terms of cost, 50% of restaurants considered the price of Eco-Safe packaging affordable while the other 50% found some items to be cheaper and some more expensive but overall, they considered plastics as the much cheaper option.

Plastic banning is not seen favorable until alternatives are made available and accessible widely to the public and businesses. There should be more packaging options that are recyclable or biodegradable, easily sourced and affordable. With the increased demand for eco-friendly packaging from the sector, food packaging requirements well defined and food safety standards agreed upon, it can only be assumed that the supply will follow. In the short run the demand can be met through importation but for the change to happen in the long run by making these materials more affordable and easily accessible, local manufacturers should be encouraged and supported.

In line with the Lao National Green Growth Strategy and Plastic Policy Roadmap, UNDP is looking for a qualified international consultant who will lead the research, conduct a feasibility study, and produce a policy brief which will help the Government of the Lao PDR and relevant stakeholders understand the needs, assess and propose potential policy measures on plastics. The overall work will be supported by a local consultant to ensure the highest quality, better coordination and understanding of the local context.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Consultant, under the supervision of the UNDP Head of Solution Mapper is required to provide the following services:

  • Desk review of existing data, reports, policies and legal framework related to environment and solid waste/plastic waste of Lao PDR;
  • Best practice study for the policies and implementation plans on plastic waste of at least 3 benchmarking countries, preferably countries in a similar socio-economic situation as Lao PDR;
  • Conduct a feasibility study and business viability on the development and production of eco and natural biodegradable products as alternatives to the priority single-use plastic products by local start-ups & SMEs in food sector;
  • Prepare case studies on policy choices on tax exemption on eco-friendly products vs. additional tax on certain types of plastic products “polluter-must-pay scheme”. Identify a list of priority eco-friendly products that meet the exemption criteria and those which higher taxes need to apply;
  • Produce a policy brief highlighting the key findings from the feasibility study and policy case studies with clear recommendation of actions;
  • Present key findings to UNDP and partners ;


  • The consultant will report to the Head of Solutions Mapping as necessary against the deliverable progress for administrative purpose;
  • The consultant is also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under;
  • The consultant will be given access to relevant information necessary for execution of the tasks under this assignment;
  • The consultant is responsible for providing their own laptop computers and mobile phones for use during this assignment; the consultant must have access to reliable internet connection;
  • Payments will be made upon submission of a detailed time sheet and certification of payment form, and acceptance and confirmation by the supervisor.


  • Strong ability to take initiative to move complex processes forward to achieve articulated results,
  • work at varying levels and on different initiatives simultaneously (personal organization and ability for multi-tasking).
  • Demonstrable networking capability, interpersonal skills and strong ability to promote teamwork.
  • High degree of integrity, discretion, and personal conduct;
  • Flexible to changing working conditions and willing and able to travel for work purposes;
  • Able to prioritize and meet deadlines;
  • Excellent skills in solving, conflict resolution, advocacy, and stakeholder coordination;
  • Professional facilitation and presentation skills;

Required Skills and Experience

A Master’s degree preferably in Environmental Economics and Policy, Environmental Science, Economics with environment focus, Natural Resource Economics, Environmental Management, and/or relevant field is required;

  • At least 7 years of experience working in environmental policy and economics is preferred;
  • Proven experience of completing similar assignments for the UN and leading international organizations;
  • Experience collaborating with government agencies, international organizations, and community leaders;
  • Experience working in the region or Laos is desirable;
  • Past experience with research and analyzing of data is a plus;
  • Excellent verbal and writing skills (English).
  • Ability to present coherent and convincing positions both in writing and orally.

Requirements for submission of proposals

All interested and qualified National Independent Consultant should apply on-line using the following links:

UNDP Lao PDR Country Office website at or

In order to make your submission, please read the relevant documents available on the link below

  1. TOR Annex I
  2. IC General Terms and Conditions _ Annex II;
  4. P11 Form

Documents to be included when submitting the proposals:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

1. Technical Proposal

(i) Explaining why you are the most suitable for the work;

(ii) Providing a brief methodology on how you will approach and conduct the work including the work

schedule for the delivery of outputs/deliverable;

2. P11 Form Education and work experience, including past experience in similar projects and contact references of at least 3 references for whom you have rendered preferably the similar services;

3. Financial proposal: Detailed financial proposal: Lump sum offer with clear cost breakdown against each deliverable. Please use this template OFFEROR’S LETTER TO UNDP CONFIRMING INTEREST AND AVAILABILITY _ Annex III

Price proposal could be quoted in LAK or US Dollar.

Instructions for on-line submissions:

Step 1: Please prepare all required documents electronically;

Step 2: Combine all documents in ONE SINGLE FILE (preferably in PDF however Word format can be also accepted) and upload to the UNDP Jobs using the links above. The system does not allow for uploading document more than one time.

Step 3: After that you will receive an auto reply from the UNDP jobs if your offer is received successfully.

Incomplete proposals or proposals received after the deadline will be rejected.

Note: Any request for clarification must be sent in writing before the submission deadline to the following emails:

Added 7 months ago - Updated 6 months ago - Source: