“AQUA delivers more than two thirds of our water in returnable, reusable jugs,” Corine Tap, General Manager of AQUA, said in a statement. She went on to note that while more than half of AQUA’s PET bottles already get collected and recycled into either new bottles or other materials, like textiles, AQUA has “decided the time is right to invest further and to do more.”
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. To this end, 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.
AQUA is also aiming at direct engagement with consumers to increase recycling rates, through a new movement titled “#BijakBerplastik,” or “Be Plastic Wise.” 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. By placing these drop boxes at Alfamart locations nationwide, AQUA hopes to make the program available to 100 million people by 2025.
Ivan Hermawan, a spokesperson for Summer Alfaria, characterized the partnership as being based in a desire “to encourage and educate consumers to be more creative in collecting and recycling their plastic waste into something of better value.”
AQUA plans to work with local governments, NGOs, and private companies to launch a nationwide recycling education program and to promote consumer awareness around recycling in 20 Indonesian cities by 2020.