Danone Identified as Biggest Contributor to Plastic Pollution in Indonesia with 11.7%

A multinational French corporation, Danone, has been identified as the biggest contributor to plastic pollution in Indonesia due to its reliance on single-use products.

Written by Rika Andini

Based on data from Break Free from Plastic, Danone, a well-known French multinational corporation, has been identified as the biggest contributor to plastic pollution in Indonesia due to its reliance on single-use products. In 2022, Danone’s plastic waste contribution was a startling 11.75% or 1480, which has been a consistent issue since 2020 when the company first topped the list of the biggest polluters.1

SungaiWatch, an environmental organization, conducted an audit of Danone’s plastic waste in Indonesia and found that the company’s plastic waste comprised three main types of plastic – cups, PET bottles, and HDPE containers. The audit revealed that cups accounted for the largest proportion of Danone’s plastic waste at 68%, followed by PET bottles at 29%, and HDPE containers at 4%.2 The findings of the audit provide valuable insights into the composition of Danone’s plastic waste and underscore the need for the company to take proactive measures to address its plastic waste management practices.

Around 36% of all plastics produced are used in packaging, including single-use plastic products such as food and beverage containers. Shockingly, approximately 85% of these plastic packaging materials end up in landfills or as unregulated waste, leading to significant environmental degradation.3 As plastic packaging products are designed for a single use, their disposal creates a significant challenge for waste management systems worldwide.

According to the findings of Break Free from Plastic, Danone is not the only company contributing to plastic waste in Indonesia. The top five plastic waste polluters in the country were identified as Danone, Wings, Mayora Indah, Indofood, and Unilever. Under Danone, Wings was found to be the second biggest contributor to plastic waste, accounting for 10.23% of the total plastic waste generated. Mayora Indah was identified as the third biggest contributor, producing 8.95% of plastic waste. Meanwhile, Indofood and Unilever accounted for 7.67% and 5.7% of plastic waste respectively. The findings demonstrate that plastic pollution is a systemic issue that requires collective action from all stakeholders, including businesses, consumers, and governments, to address.4

From the data above, it is clear that plastic waste is a major problem in Indonesia, with Danone being the biggest contributor to this issue. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the underlying causes of plastic waste in Indonesia and discuss sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics.

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Contributing Factors to Danone's Plastic Waste in Indonesia

Indonesia has a lack of appropriate waste management infrastructure. Despite generating a considerable amount of waste, the country’s collection and recycling facilities are insufficient. As a result, a significant portion of the plastic waste produced in Indonesia ends up polluting the environment, including landfills, waterways, and the ocean.

It is estimated that no less than 1,000 rivers worldwide serve as plastic waste containers, with between 0.8 and 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste in inland waters channeled into the oceans each year.5 The impact of this plastic pollution on marine life and ecosystems is devastating, with plastic waste causing harm to marine animals and altering marine habitats.

According to data from the National Waste Management Information System (SIPSN), the country is projected to generate 19 million tons of waste in 2022, of which only 77.44% will be properly managed. The remaining 22.56% will likely end up as unmanaged waste, further exacerbating the plastic waste problem in the country.6

Besides that, Danone is one of the leading food and beverage companies in the world, and has a significant impact on the plastic waste problem in Indonesia. The company’s reliance on plastic packaging for its products is a contributing factor to this issue. Danone has admitted to using plastic throughout its value chain, especially for its packaged products such as water bottles and yogurt containers. This heavy dependence on plastic packaging contributes to the plastic waste generated in Indonesia, as the country has a limited waste management infrastructure to handle the volume of plastic waste produced.

The low recycling rate in Indonesia is a significant contributing factor to the plastic waste problem faced by Danone and other companies in the country. For example, the lack of public knowledge regarding proper waste segregation makes it difficult to separate waste that is suitable for recycling from waste that is not suitable for recycling. Many people believe that burning waste is the right way to dispose of it, which only contributes to air pollution and further harms the environment.

According to the 2019 Indonesian Sustainable Waste Data (SWI), less than 10% of plastic waste is recycled, and more than 50% still ends up in landfills.7 This lack of proper waste management infrastructure means that the plastic waste generated by companies such as Danone cannot be effectively collected, sorted, and recycled. Instead, it ends up in landfills causing significant environmental damage.

To address this issue, the Indonesian government and companies like Danone need to invest in improving waste management infrastructure and promoting more sustainable practices. This includes increasing recycling rates, implementing more efficient waste collection systems, and investing in research and development to find innovative solutions to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated.

While companies and governments must take significant steps to address the plastic waste problem, consumers also have a crucial role to play. One of the simplest steps individuals can take is to reduce the use of single-use packaging. For example, instead of buying bottled water, people can bring their own refillable water bottles, reducing the amount of plastic waste generated.

Similarly, when shopping, people can bring their own reusable shopping bags instead of relying on single-use plastic bags. These simple changes can make a significant impact on reducing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the environment. Consumers can also choose to support companies that prioritize sustainability and reduce their use of plastic packaging. By making more conscious choices and adopting more sustainable practices, individuals can contribute to the effort to address the plastic waste problem and protect the health of our planet.

The Driving Forces Behind Indonesians' Use of Disposable Packaging

Groundwater has many benefits for living things, especially for human survival. Here are some of the key benefits of groundwater for human life:


In Indonesia, a large portion of the population is leading busy lifestyles. As a result, many people prefer to consume their meals on-the-go. Disposable packaging is becoming increasingly popular as it enables individuals to quickly grab snacks and drinks without the need to sit down and eat traditional meals. With disposable packaging, individuals can enjoy their food and drinks wherever they please, whether they're on their way to work, running errands, or commuting. This form of packaging has become a preferred choice for many in Indonesia due to its convenience and time-saving nature. However, it's important to balance the convenience of disposable packaging with its negative environmental impact, and to explore sustainable alternatives for the benefit of both individuals and the planet.


Disposable packaging provides a sense of security for many Indonesians. Having something that is meant to be used for a single purpose and then disposed of without worry brings peace of mind when it comes to ensuring that the food is safe to eat. Unlike reusable containers, disposable packaging provides hygienic assurance, as there is no need to worry about cleaning and sterilizing the container before each use. This assurance is particularly important in a country where there are concerns about food safety and contamination. By using disposable packaging, consumers can be confident that they are consuming food and drinks that are safe and free from contamination, which is why this form of packaging has become increasingly popular in Indonesia.


Disposable packaging is often more affordable than reusable packaging, which is a key factor that encourages many Indonesians to choose it. With many people in Indonesia being price-sensitive, the affordability of disposable packaging makes it a more accessible option for consumers on a tight budget. In some cases, the cost of reusable packaging, such as Tupperware or metal lunch boxes, can be prohibitively expensive for some consumers. Disposable packaging provides an affordable and convenient option for those who are looking to save money without sacrificing convenience.

Lack of infrastructure

In some areas of Indonesia, there is a lack of infrastructure for recycling and waste management. This means that disposable packaging is often the only option for consumers in these areas, as they do not have access to reusable packaging or proper disposal methods for waste. Without proper waste management infrastructure, reusable containers may not be an option as they would need to be cleaned and stored properly to avoid attracting pests and causing health risks. In addition, without access to recycling facilities, disposable packaging may be the only option for those who want to dispose of their waste responsibly. This lack of infrastructure has contributed to the widespread use of disposable packaging in Indonesia, and highlights the need for improved waste management systems and sustainable packaging alternatives.

Marketing and Advertising

Companies in Indonesia, such as Danone, often market their products using disposable packaging. This is because many consumers are attracted to the colorful, eye-catching packaging and are more likely to purchase products that come in disposable packaging. Companies often invest in the design of their packaging to make it visually appealing and convenient to use, which can influence consumer preferences. This has led to a significant increase in the use of disposable packaging in Indonesia, as consumers are more likely to choose products that are convenient and visually appealing.

Solutions to Danone's Plastic Waste in Indonesia

While disposable packaging is convenient and often affordable, it’s important to recognize that the overuse of disposable packaging has negative environmental consequences. Single-use plastic packaging takes hundreds of years to decompose and contributes to the growing problem of plastic waste in Indonesia. This waste often ends up in landfills or oceans, where it can harm wildlife and ecosystems.

As a leading producer of consumer goods in Indonesia, Danone has a responsibility to address this issue and explore alternative solutions to plastic waste. This can include investing in sustainable packaging alternatives, such as biodegradable or compostable materials, and promoting recycling and waste reduction initiatives.

Danone-AQUA Indonesia has taken a significant step towards reducing plastic waste by registering the first Indonesian plastic project with Verra’s Plastic Waste Reduction Program.Danone-AQUA Indonesia and PT. Reciki Solusi Indonesia have partnered to create the Reciki Project and aims to divert plastic waste from landfills and waterways by promoting a circular economy approach. The project involves collecting and recycling plastic waste from the community, which is then processed into raw materials for new products.8

This initiative not only reduces the amount of plastic waste in Indonesia but also creates new economic opportunities and promotes sustainable business practices. By implementing innovative solutions like the Reciki Project, Danone-AQUA Indonesia is demonstrating its commitment to sustainability and leading the way towards a more environmentally friendly future. This initiative serves as an excellent example for other companies to follow and highlights the potential for collaboration between businesses and communities to address plastic waste in Indonesia.

With the Indonesian government setting a target of reducing plastic waste in the oceans by 70% by 2025, it’s clear that concerted efforts are needed from all sectors of society. By working together, companies like Danone-AQUA Indonesia and PT. Reciki Solusi Indonesia can help to achieve this goal and promote sustainable practices that benefit the environment and the wider community.

Encouraging changes in consumer behavior is another important strategy that the Indonesian government can implement to address Danone’s plastic waste in Indonesia. One way to achieve this is through awareness campaigns that educate the public on the importance of recycling plastic waste. These campaigns can help raise awareness about the negative environmental impact of plastic waste and provide practical solutions for reducing plastic waste in daily life.

By empowering consumers with the knowledge and tools to recycle their plastic waste, the government can help create a culture of sustainability and responsible waste management in Indonesia. Moreover, this can also help create a market for recycled plastic, which can incentivize companies like Danone to invest in sustainable packaging alternatives. Therefore, the government should prioritize implementing awareness campaigns that promote recycling and responsible waste management practices as an essential part of its efforts to address Danone’s plastic waste in Indonesia.

Danone’s plastic waste in Indonesia is a serious issue that requires urgent attention and action from all stakeholders, including the Indonesian government. With Danone identified as the biggest contributor to plastic pollution in Indonesia, it is imperative that the government implements strategies to hold the company accountable for its waste management practices, while also encouraging changes in consumer behavior.

Strengthening regulations on plastic waste, promoting sustainable packaging alternatives, investing in recycling infrastructure, and launching awareness campaigns can all help reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by Danone and other companies in Indonesia. By working together, the government, the private sector, and the public can create a more sustainable future for Indonesia and protect its natural environment for generations to come.

Tirta Murni Nusantara

Jalan Penestanan, Sayan,

Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, 80571

+ 62 821 4645 0217


AHU-0020799.AH.01.04 Tahun 2022

Berita Negara No 080 Tahun 2022

Akta Notaris
no 09, 30 September 2022

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