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Unilever Indonesia Collaborates with Istiqlal Mosque to Promote Waste Sorting and Management


Average read time: 5 minutes

Unilever Indonesia prepares 10 waste sorting points around Istiqlal Mosque

Education, provision of segregated waste bins, and collaboration with trusted waste management organizations

Jakarta, 20 March 2024 – The holy month of Ramadan is a moment of transformation to become better individuals. It's not only about our relationship with the Creator but also with fellow human beings and the environment.

In this blessed month, PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk strengthens its collaboration with Istiqlal Mosque concerning its commitment to empowering communities and preserving the environment by encouraging the community, especially Istiqlal Mosque visitors, to be wiser in sorting and managing waste, particularly within the mosque area. This initiative includes education, the provision of waste sorting points, and collaboration with reputable waste management institutions, aiming to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills.

As part of this initiative, today, an educational event titled “Ramadan Talks: Clean Ramadan, Cleanse the Heart, Cleanse the Environment" was held, featuring speakers as follows: Director and Corporate Secretary of Unilever Indonesia, Nurdiana Darus; Vice Chairman of the Mosque Affairs Division of Istiqlal Mosque, Her Pramtama; Head of Waste Reduction and Management Division of the Jakarta Environmental Agency, Mr. Dedy Setiono, SH, M.Kn; Coordinator of Green Faith Indonesia and Vice Chairman of the Central Board of the Muhammadiyah Environmental Council (MLH), Hening Parlan; and public figure who is a mother, Enno Lerian.

Nurdiana Darus, Director and Corporate Secretary of Unilever Indonesia, said, "Unilever Indonesia is committed to continually being of value to society and promoting environmental conservation efforts. The long-standing partnership with Istiqlal Mosque since 2017 is a manifestation of this commitment. This Ramadan, we are once again partnering with Istiqlal, encouraging the community, especially Istiqlal Mosque visitors, to be wiser in sorting and managing waste. Hopefully, this joint effort can also be implemented not only within the mosque environment but also at home."

Unilever Indonesia's commitment to environmental conservation has been demonstrated through sundry initiatives, such as plastic waste collection and processing efforts as well as water management programs in Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) and mosques. Since 2008, Unilever Indonesia has supported the establishment of 4,000 Waste Banks in 50 regencies/cities across 11 provinces. Throughout 2022, the collection of inorganic waste – including plastic – from these Waste Banks and their networks has exceeded 28,636 tons.

Additionally, the partnership with Istiqlal Mosque regarding environmental preservation has been fostered through various activities, including the Water Stewardship program. Under this program, Unilever Indonesia has donated electric cart units carrying water tanks to the Istiqlal Mosque Management Body to distribute recycled water and rainwater storage to meet various needs within the mosque's environment.

The activities in mosques, especially Istiqlal Mosque, during Ramadan are increasingly bustling. This has led to an increase in waste accumulation in the mosque’s surroundings. Her Pramtama, Vice Chairman of the Mosque Affairs Division of Istiqlal Mosque, said, "Throughout Ramadan, Istiqlal Mosque actively hosts a series of activities, from congregational prayers, Taraweeh prayers, itikaf programs, to iftar gathering and the provision of thousands of snacks for the community.”

“The enthusiasm of the community to worship and break their fast in the Istiqlal Mosque undoubtedly contributes to the waste accumulation, eventually ending up in landfills. Thankfully, through collaboration with Unilever Indonesia, the community can be more educated in sorting their waste, thereby reducing the waste sent to landfills."

Dedy Setiono, SH, M.Kn., Head of Waste Reduction and Management Division of the Jakarta Environmental Agency confirmed the increase in waste during Ramadan, saying "Currently, waste remains an environmental issue that we are facing. One of the reasons is the waste management system that still relies on collection-transportation-disposal methods, resulting in waste piling up in landfills.”

“Ironically, during Ramadan, which is associated with self-restraint, waste generation increases by 20% per day. In March, the Jakarta Environmental Agency recorded an increase in waste volume by 168 tons per day. However, if managed wisely together, landfill waste can be reduced, thus positively impacting the environment."

This Ramadan, Unilever Indonesia strengthens its collaboration with Istiqlal Mosque to address environmental issues. Unilever Indonesia partnered with Duitin, a recycling platform, to provide 10 sets of waste sorting facilities in Istiqlal Mosque and ensure that the collected waste can be reused, thereby reducing waste accumulation in landfills. Additionally, an educational discussion titled 'Ramadan Talks: Clean Ramadan, Cleanse the Heart, Cleanse the Environment' was held, involving relevant speakers and local community participation.

Environmental education is crucial, especially as Islam mandates strict environmental preservation. Hening Parlan, Vice Chairman of the Central Board of the Muhammadiyah Environmental Council (MLH), stated, "Preserving the environment is part of the consequences of a Muslim's faith and a necessity of faith manifestation. In Surah Ar-Rum verse 41, Allah asserts that environmental destruction occurs due to human actions. Therefore, those who claim to believe should refrain from harming the environment.”

“Regarding waste, waste sorting and management through reuse and recycle methods initiated by Unilever Indonesia in Istiqlal Mosque are steps that can be replicated in more places as part of efforts to avoid harm and waste that every Muslim should implement."

Public figure and mother of three, Enno Lerian, also expressed concern about waste issues. "Since childhood, my parents taught me to avoid being excessive because being excessive is close to Satan. That's also what I teach my children. Especially during Ramadan, sometimes we lose our grip and end up buying excessive foods, which ultimately end up in the trash.”

“So, what I try to remind myself and my children is, firstly, to avoid impulsive buying or cooking food. Secondly, to responsibly reduce personal waste by bringing shopping bags and personal drinking containers. Thirdly, to sort and dispose of waste wisely, both at home and in public places. Because each of us plays an important role in waste reduction efforts."

Through this collaborative initiative, Unilever Indonesia hopes to create real change in waste reduction and waste management efforts by increasing awareness and fostering sustainable actions from the community. "Not only limited to Ramadan but also throughout our life journey. Together, we leave a trail of goodness in preserving the environment because every small step we take today is a significant investment for a better future for our planet," concluded Nurdiana.

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