On June 5th 2018, to mark World Environment Day for Indonesia, Danone-AQUA announced three pioneering commitments to address the problem of plastic waste:
- Danone-AQUA commits to recover more plastic waste than it uses from the Indonesian environment, in equivalent volume by 2025.
- Danone-AQUA commits to lead a nationwide campaign of recycling education, and to activate consumer awareness recycling programs in 20 major cities by 2020, reaching 5 million kids and 100 million consumers by 2025.
- Danone-AQUA commits to make all its plastic packaging 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable; and to increase the proportion of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50%, by 2025.
Why does it matter ?
In Indonesia, Danone-AQUA provides tens of millions of people with access to safe water. However, the country’s high usage of bottled water means that plastic waste poses a critical environmental challenge, as it uses valuable resources and can generate waste when not recycled. Indonesia is the second largest contribution of marine plastic waste due to poor waste infrastructure and management as well as behavior. The plastic leaking into waterways and ultimately ocean poses a considerable challenge that will require the collaboration of many stakeholders in the society, to be effectively addressed.
As an iconic heritage brand of Indonesia, Danone-AQUA has a special responsibility to act, as well as the opportunity to drive change at scale, by engaging millions of consumers. The AQUA brand has been a pioneer in the industry since 1993, when it funded its first recycling program with local NGO for plastic bottles. Since those days many successful programs and partnerships have been forged to collect and manage plastic waste.
How does it work ?
A crucial step towards making sure that more used plastic bottles get captured by the recycling stream is increasing recycling infrastructure and formalizing waste collection systems in the country.
Danone-AQUA is supporting pioneering technologies & social business programs to clean plastic waste from the environment, like the Pemulung project, also supported by Danone Ecosystem Fund and a local partner, Reksa Buana Utama. For the last decade, Danone-AQUA has been collaborating with multiple stakeholders, such as government, NGOs, industry associations and media, to address these issues within a cross-sectoral waste-management ecosystem.
In parallel, Danone is investing in Circulate Capital, a fund with a social mission to demonstrate the viability of investment into the waste management and recycling industries in South and Southeast Asia in order attract the billions of dollars required to scale up waste infrastructure in those regions.
Education Towards Behavior Change
Communities in Indonesia are not recycling or managing their waste because they don’t fully understand the problem nor the solution.
Danone-AQUA is partnering with Indonesian NGOs to introduce curriculum about sustainable recycling in the country's primary schools, and will push to have such courses added to the country’s national curriculum.
The subsidiary is also aiming at direct engagement with consumers to increase recycling rates, through a new movement titled “#BijakBerplastik,” or “Be Plastic Wise.” Danone-AQUA will work with Alfamart, one of Indonesia’s largest convenience store chains, and the country’s largest cell network operator, Telekomsel, to roll out recycling drop boxes that will offer shoppers Telekomsel credit in exchange for returning used bottles.
Danone-AQUA is building an ecosystem to find partners that can redesign its packaging into a fully circular product range by design. One prime area where it plans to concentrate its efforts is increasing the amount of recycled plastic it uses in its bottles. At the 2018 Our Ocean Conference in Bali, Danone-AQUA unveiled Indonesia’s first bottle made from 100% recycled PET.
In parallel, Danone-AQUA is launching several innovative pilot projects and initiatives aimed at reducing plastic waste and recovering used plastic. It is partnering with H&M in the Bottle2Fashion initiative to turn used plastic into clothing. In 2019, the brand will also experiment with introducing alternatives to plastic straws.
How does it create value ?
Noting the ambitious target set by Indonesia, to reduce plastic waste going to the ocean by 70% by 2025, Danone-AQUA believes that it is urgent to begin concrete actions and programs to foster a new culture of recycling and environmental responsibility in Indonesia.
The Pledge is the embodiment of Danone-AQUA commitment to be part of solution in reducing plastic used in our production, minimizing the impact of post consuming waste and educating public to involve in plastic waste management by not littering and segregating the waste. The subsidiary intends to work with partners and with its consumers towards that goal, in a spirit of collaboration and active participation, through the movement, #BijakBerplastik (Be Plastic Wise).