Extended Producer Responsibility and Its Implementation in Indonesia

Last April, a picture of an instant noodle packaging in Indonesia that was found in Sendang Biru beach in Malang, East Java went viral on Twitter. What piqued people’s interest (and sympathy) was not the fact that someone littered an instant noodle pack on the beach. Instead, it was the inconvenient truth of how the noodle packaging is 19 years old.

According to Fianisa Tiara Pradani, on the instant noodle packaging that she found was a writing that says “Dirgahayu 55 Tahun Indonesiaku” or “Happy 55th Birthday My Indonesia”. She found it in 2019, in which Indonesia will be celebrating its 74th anniversary.

The findings of plastic packaging that was still intact after so many years becomes a grim reminder of the global waste problem that the world is currently facing. A reminder that the plastics that we have been using all our lives still exist on this very planet, that the plastic we disposed of never really gone away, they just moved to another places or broke down into smaller pieces.

Moreover, In mid September 2018, Greenpeace Indonesia conducted an audit of plastic waste brands together with local communities. The audit was done in several beaches located in different cities, namely Kuk Cituis beach in Tangerang, Pandansari beach in Yogyakarta, and Mertasari beach in Bali. From the three locations, as many as 797 plastic waste brands are retrieved. The figure is dominated by food and beverages brand, which accounts for 594 brands, followed by 90 brands of personal care products, 86 brands of household products 86, and 27 other brands.

Relawan Greenpeace mengumpulkan dan mendata sampah plastik yang ditemukan saat kegiatan bersih-bersih pantai di Mertasari, Sanur, Bali. Sumber: dokumentasi Greenpeace (media.greenpeace.org)
Greenpeace volunteer in the middle of collecting and recording the plastic waste that are found during the beach cleanup in Mertasari beach in Sanur, Bali. Source: Greenpeace’s archive (media.greenpeace.org)

The total number of waste that were collected from the three locations is 10.594 packaging, whereas the distribution of the product brands vary from one location to another. The Kuk Cituis beach in Tangerang, for example, is dominated by packaging waste from Santos, P&G, and Wings. Whereas in Mertasari beach in Bali it was from another brands, namely Danone, Detol, and Unilever. As for the Pandansari beach in Yogyakarta, it was dominated by packaging waste from Indofood, Unilever, as well as Wings.

Sampah kemasan plastik yang ditemukan dan didata oleh relawan Greenpeace Indonesia di pantai Pandansari, Yogyakarta. Sumber: dokumentasi Greenpeace (media.greenpeace.org)
Plastic packaging that are found by Greenpeace volunteers in Pandansari beach in Yogyakarta. Source: Greenpeace’s archive (media.greenpeace.org)

Brands in Indonesia with existing Extended Producer Responsibility Programs

The good news is, there are several companies and brands who have implemented the EPR programs in Indonesia. Some of them are:

1. The Body Shop

“Bring Back Our Bottle” is a program by The Body Shop Indonesia that encourages its customers to drop off their products’ empty packaging to the nearest stores or outlets in order to be recycled. The revenue that are generated from the recycling process will then be used for community empowerment. Since the middle of 2014, The Body Shop has cooperated with Waste4Change and ecoBali Recycling to recycle The Body Shop’s empty packaging in Jabodetabek areas as well as in Bali. In 2018, as many as 1,4 million empty bottles and containers of The Body Shop products have been retrieved to the stores.

Botol-botol kosong The Body Shop yang berhasil dikumpulkan untuk kemudian didaur ulang oleh Waste4Change.
The Body Shop’s empty bottles and containers that managed to be collected in order to be recycled by Waste4Change

2. GO-JEK

To demonstrate GO-JEK’s commitment and concern towards the environment, GO-JEK cooperates with Waste4Change to manage the discarded jacket and helmets that are used by GO-JEK’s partner drivers to ensure that the waste are recycled responsibly instead of ending up in landfills. (Zero Waste to Landfill/ZWTL). This EPR program becomes all the more important when we take into consideration the fact that jackets and helmets are difficult to be recycled compared to other materials.  

Discared GO-JEK helmets that will be handled by Waste4Change as a part of GO-JEK's Extended Producer Responsibility program.
Discared GO-JEK helmets that will be handled by Waste4Change as a part of GO-JEK’s Extended Producer Responsibility program.

3. Djournal Coffee 

One of the measures done by Djournal Coffee in order to be responsible towards the waste that they generate is to provide an installation to dispose their plastic cups and lids. With the existence of such installation, people who brought their coffee and drinks in plastic cups will have easier access to ensure that the cups, lids, and straw would be managed responsibly.

Djournal Coffee's waste installation that is located in Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall.
Djournal Coffee’s waste installation that is located in Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall.

The installation will also encourage people to start segregating their waste, since thee different containers are provided for each kind of waste, namely cups, lids, as well as straws. This is because plastic itself consists of several types, and each has their own recycling specifiations that might differ from one another.

Three separate containers for plastic cups, lids, straws, and even liquid.
Four separate containers for plastic cups, lids, straws, and even liquid.

Extended Producer Responsibility service from Waste4Change 

As a social entrepreneur in responsible waste management, Waste4Change provides a service called Extended Producer Responsibility, which will ensure an optimal and responsible waste collection for brand-labeled waste or waste from product packaging.

By using the Extended Producer Responsibility service, your company’s waste will not end up in landfills (Zero Waste to Landfill/ZWTL), and you will contribute in realizing the circular economy.

In need of a responsible and segregated waste collection? Kindy visit w4c.id/EPR, and do not hesitate to reach us at Waste4Change

References:

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20190408133606-199-384246/sampah-plastik-mi-instan-usia-19-tahun-ditemukan-di-pantai

Greenpeace Menemukan Lebih Dari 700 Merek Sampah Plastik Dari Tiga Lokasi