Today’s throwaway culture must end. We’re working to keep waste in the economy and out of the environment.
Garbage is still a big problem for the world, including in Indonesia. It is one of the thorny issues that we must solve immediately to ensure that we are free from waste, especially plastic waste. To do this, we need to collaborate synergistically with all stakeholders. As a producer, we are striving to carry out real actions that create sustainable environmental ecosystems. We also want to embrace all stakeholders, starting with the government, consumers, and others to ensure a future that is waste-free.
We are implementing a circular economy approach to conquer these waste issues, especially plastic waste. It means that the plastic will be used and recycled to generate economic benefits in our business ecosystem. In terms of reducing plastic waste, we have a framework that forms the basis of all our strategies: less plastic, better plastic, and no plastic.
At the global level, Unilever is committed to coping with plastic waste problems from the upstream, middle, and downstream in our business chain. By 2025, our targets include:
- Halve the amount of virgin plastic, including an absolute reduction of 100,000 tonnes and the use of recycled plastic by up to 25%
- Ensuring all of our plastic packaging is designed to be fully reusable, recyclable, or compostable
- Helping collect and process more plastic than we sell
We have already started our first and second commitments whenever our products reach the development process before being delivered to consumers. Our third commitment focuses on the collection and processing of post-consumption plastic packaging. We are doing this by developing a waste collection and sales system that uses the “Google My Business” platform to enable consumers to access the nearest waste-banks through Google Search or Google Maps.
Even more specifically, Unilever Indonesia has created a clear, detailed road map and submitted it to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia. This clear and measurable road map reflects government regulations to support efforts to collect and recycle waste.
Invite people to be #GenerasiPilahPlastik
We believe in the importance of involving society more actively to restore ecosystems on both land and ocean. Therefore, we have launched the #GenerasiPilahPlastik campaign to invite people to become a part of the generations who care about the environment and are more responsible for the packaging they use, especially plastic packaging.
We hope #GenerasiPilahPlastik will be a part of the communication, information, and education which encourages consumers to become fully aware of how easy it is to sort plastic waste from home, and how beneficial this is not only for themselves, but also for society, and the environment. Sorted and collected plastic waste increases in value and quality and can become a beneficiary commodity that supports the recycling industry and ensures a healthy circular economy.
Be wise in the use of plastic
We continue to innovate by presenting product choices that are wiser in the use of plastic – both in the amount of plastic used and the type of plastic. We reduce our plastic by using material technology approaches that optimize packaging size and weight, including changing the shapes of bottles and caps.
Our products have reduced the use of new plastic, with some using 100% recycled plastic: for example, the bottles used for Bango’s soy sauce and Love & Beauty Planet. For body care and beauty products, Unilever has eliminated the use of plastic-based scrub beads in all types of products.
Collect and process more plastic than we sell
To increase the recycling rate of post-consumption plastic packaging, Unilever collaborates with various parties to raise the quantity and quality of recycling waste collection points in Indonesia.
Since 2001, Unilever has carried out various waste management activities from the source, such as from households, by activating the Waste Bank program. To increase the visibility of public waste banks, Unilever is collaborating with Google to ensure that some of our fostered waste banks can be accessed by the public through Google My Business, Google Maps, and other Google features.
We are also currently operating the CreaSolv® plastic waste processing facility on a pilot-scale project by producing recycled packaging materials used by some of Unilever's products. This pilot project was developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany and is located in the PT Trias Sentosa factory complex in Sidoarjo. From January 2019 to February 2021, this plant successfully recycled around 94,066 kg of multilayered packaging waste and produced around 46,210 kgs of rPE. This technology has the potential to absorb three tons of flexible plastic packaging waste per day at a commercial level. Moreover, in 2021 we launched Rinso’s special packaging that uses the results of this factory's recycled materials.
These strong efforts to tackle the problem of plastic waste are also manifested in the form of collaboration with the DKI Jakarta's government and PT Solusi Bangun Indonesia (SBI) in September 2020 in TPA mining activities or landfill mining in the inactive zone of TPST Bantargebang, where waste, especially plastic, is processed into alternative fuel material to replace coal or Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) at PT SBI Narogong’s cement factory.
In all, the total collection and processing of plastic packaging done by Unilever in 2020 came to 16,000 tons. Furthermore, we aim to collect 32,000 tons by the end of 2021 and reach 50,000 tons by 2022.
Reduce food waste for a more sustainable environment
People hate to see food wasted, especially during these difficult times. So do we. Food waste can potentially harm the environment and have a negative economic impact. In Indonesia alone, food waste reaches 23 to 48 million tons per year (the second largest in the world), which then causes huge losses in terms of the environment and the economy.
Responding to this issue and coinciding with the celebration of World Food Day 2021, Unilever Indonesia, through Royco, started the “Lezat Tanpa Sisa” campaign. This campaign invites Indonesian families to reduce their excess food waste by reprocessing it into various delicious dishes. Through www.masakapahariini.com, Unilever Indonesia shares so many inspirational recipes that are created using more optimal amounts of ingredients and food ingredients leftover from food waste.
Since 2014, Unilever has implemented a “Zero Waste to Landfill” policy. It ensures that no more excess waste and non-B3 waste from factories and offices end up in landfills.
Then, since 2018, we have been processing non-B3 sludge from IC, Skin, HPC, Rungkut, and a mixture of rejected liquids to be recycled as raw material for foaming agents in pet soap, polish for tires, and many more applications. In fact, non-B3 sludge recycling in 2020 amounted to 10.5 tons, with waste treatment cost savings reaching Rp8.2 billion.