Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Soft drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia hopes their new recycling facility at Bekasi, West Java, can help slash virgin plastic usage and thus, closing the loop on packaging.
According to Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia president director Kadir Gunduz, the bottle-to-bottle grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling facility will cut new plastic consumption by 25,000 tons each year.
The plant is in collaboration with packaging firm Dynapack Asia and brought a total investment of 50.51 million AUD (around $38.4 million). The recycling facility will also span an area of 20,000 square meters.
"This project will play an important role in plastic waste solution and will create a significant impact on Indonesia's circular economy," Kadir said at the facility's groundbreaking ceremony in Jakarta on Monday.
Kadir highlighted how the facility aligns with Amatil's ten-pillared 2020-2040 commitment towards sustainability. On the third pillar, the company seeks to close the loop on packaging by 2030 – by using 50 percent average recycled or renewable content across all packaging over the next decade.
"The facility will help stimulate the recycling industry and accelerate improved recycling rate in line with the government's roadmap in waste management," he said.
The plant will convert collected PET bottles into food-grade resin – thus bringing additional value to the recycled PET.
In addition, Amandina Bumi Nusantara will operate the facility once the construction is completed by 2022. Whilst non-profit foundation Mahija Parahita Nusantara will partner with local collection centers and scavengers.
"These garbage pickers will work alongside collection centers, who will eventually sell us the collected [post-consumer] bottles. Amandina will later process them into plastic pellets to be later sold to Coca-Cola Amatil and Dynapack to be made as bottles," Amandina Bumi Nusantara president director Emmeline Hambali said.
Amatil will eventually refill these bottles with their beverages for the consumers; hence, a cycle.
In the first phase, Amandina will concentrate on the local scavengers in Java, as the island is home to 70 percent of the total population. As time progresses, Amandina seeks to expand the scope to other regions, Emmeline said.
Also at the same event, Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang revealed Indonesia is at the rock bottom in terms of global plastic usage. The archipelagic country needs up to 7.2 million tons of plastic raw materials annually, out of which 2.3 million tons of virgin plastic comes from the local petrochemical industry.
"The national plastic recycling industry requires up to 2 million tons of raw materials. Indonesia, however, only supplies 913,000 tons and relies on imports for the rest," the minister said.
"The plastic recycling industry is supported by scavengers whose population reaches nearly 4 million people, thus playing a vital role in the economy and helping slash imports through product substitution."