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. 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.
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. 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.