These two initiatives, certainly will help the Indonesian government's target in reducing marine plastic pollution by 70% in 2025 and also to support the National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) program recently launched by the Indonesian government thayt has a more ambitious target to reduce plastic waste to near zero in 2040 through one of its pillars, by aggressively increase recycling initiatives.
Both Veolia and Dynapack factories will have modern machines capable of processing used PET bottles into food-grade recycled PET bottles for food or beverage products packaging. Danone-AQUA and CCAI, although not as the owners of these recycling facilities, have important roles in maintaining the sustainability of their partner's business because the rPET plastic bottles from Veolia products will be used for AQUA packaging, while Dynapack recycled bottles will be absorbed by CCAI as main user.
Last year, Danone-AQUA launched AQUA Life, a products using the first bottle in Indonesia made from 100 percent recycled PET. "The partnership with Veolia Indonesia not only helps increase recycling efforts but also to ensure that our innovative 100 percent recycled PET packaging will get an adequate supply of raw materials in the future," explained Corine Tap, President Director of PT. Tirta Invetama (Danone-AQUA) .
Meanwhile, CCAI President Director, Kadir Gunduz, explained that CCAI and Dynapack had formed a team based on their respective expertise in the recycling process and in line with with applicable standards.
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The recycling industry, especially PET recycling, has been existing in Indonesia for decades. Danone-AQUA has collected used plastic bottles through the “AQUA Peduli” program since 1993 and now uses recycled materials in all of its bottles and even somenof its bottles made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET). Besides Danone, many companies have also seen the recycling of PET bottles as an opportunity and have expanded their business in this field. In fact, there are many associations in this recycling industry including: ADUPI, APDUPI, IPR, IPI and so forth. This makes the PET bottle collection rate in Indonesia according to the Sustainable Waste Indonesia (SWI) research reached 62%, - much higher than the average plastic recycling of 10% based on NPAP research.
However, some parties have raised their concern over Danone-AQUA and CCAI's involvement in the PET bottle recycling business. They believe the PET recycling industry has been going well so far, so that large companies no longer need to involved in the recycling industry. "The PET problem in Indonesia has been resolved, PET scavengers are fighting to get this PET waste because of its high economic value and there are already a lot of recyclers," said Lintong Manurung, Chair of Industry and Trade Observer Network (JPIP). "It’s not wrong, but only unethical. My guess is that Coca-Cola's entry into recycling, motivated by its agenda to be the first company to declare that they care about environment and use it to promote their initiatives and also to make money,” said Lintong.
Similar sentiment was expressed by Randi Saputra, General Treasurer of ADUPI. Randi views Coca-Cola move, as a global brand, as not wise because PET bottles were the most sought item in recyling industries, followed by used iron or used metal and used carton boxes. “The PET Recycling Industry is also already developed in Indonesia," he said.
Responding to these concerns, H. Asrul Hoesein, Director of the Green Indonesia Foundation stated, "What is surprising is the plastic recycling industry association feels disadvantaged by Danone and Coke’s move to enter partnership into recycling industry. “Why they did not see this as opportunity and use its association to embrace the new players, build cooperation among cross-associations, NGOs who understand problematic issues of waste management and also packaging companies themselves to promote EPR systems and policies, and then also can urge the government to create favorable regulations for this circular industry.”
So this ‘competition’ actually proves that the plastic recycling industry didn’t have a good management in uphill to downhill including managing the front-liners. They are busy with its own local representatives members which are scattered in in many regions as buyers of PET scrap. Their worries and scares because of their potential inabilities to get PET scrap and no longer free to determine the price of PET scrap due to new players that joined the industry, explained Asrul.
Karyanto Wibowo, Sustainable Development Director Danone Indonesia who is also the Chair of Packaging and Recycling Association for the Indonesian Sustainable Environment (PRAISE) who was contacted separately said:"In 1993 Danone AQUA initiated AQUA Peduli and since 2010 has begun to develop PET bottle recycling with local partners in Bandung. This is because at that time there was not a single recycling industry in Indonesia who can produced food grade quality packaging (safe for food packaging) and it took years until we could finally use it. By cooperating with Namasindo and Veolia, Danone-AQUA will get a supply of approximately 35 thousand tons per year.”
As the PRAISE Chairperson, he also said that what CCAI did was worthy of appreciation for supporting the government programs and providing local economic impacts, especially for scavengers, and garbage banks. PRAISE is ready to dialogue and work with all parties to find innovative solutions in solving integrated and holistic plastic packaging waste management problems in accordance with the ESR (Extended Stake Holder Responsibility) approach.
Furthermore, Arif Mujahidin, Corporate Communications Director Danone Indonesia explained that Danone-AQUA does not compete with local recyclers, and even synergizes because Danone-AQUA is the buyer of recycled plastic pellets, so there is a guarantee of supply and demand. The Indonesian recycling industry will grow more because there is a certainty of demand and even shows to the international world that the Indonesian recycling industry can produce high-quality RPET. (E2/*)/Rls).