Jakarta, November 16, 2021 – The
Plastic Reborn began in March 2017 as a collaborative program initiated by
Ancora Foundation together with implementing partners, namely Plastic Bank and MallSampah in the Plastic Reborn 3.0 program has collected more than 14 million plastic bottles – or 293 tonnes from the Lombok and Makassar region. Plastic Bank Indonesia and MallSampah have provided intensive training and mentoring to 436 scavengers and waste collectors to accelerate technology adoption in the waste management sector, improving the existing post-consumption plastic packaging waste management capabilities.
Chief Executive of the
Situated near the coast, the island of Lombok and the city of Makassar are extremely vulnerable to environmental pollution, including waste originating from land. At the same time, the handling of waste in both areas is hindered by major obstacles, such as the lack of robust waste infrastructure.
“Learning from previous iterations of the Plastic Reborn initiative, we have identified the use of technology and empowerment of the informal community sector as two of the key components to create a robust ecosystem for the circular economy in Indonesia,” explained Ancora Foundation Executive Director Ahmad Zakky Habibie. “The most important is also opening a path for them to connect with recycling infrastructure in their area.”
The combined capabilities of the social enterprise Plastic Bank Indonesia and MallSampah as implementing partners of the Plastic Reborn 3.0 program offer transparency, monitoring, capacity building, and adoption of technology solutions to build comprehensive waste management in the coastal region. With the aid of technology, now waste collectors can monitor the data of schedule, transaction, amount, and frequency of transaction of selling or buying as well as deposited post-consumption bottles. The addition of these roles and collaborative efforts is expected to positively impact the welfare of scavengers and people involved in the program.
Speaking about the Plastic Reborn 3.0 program, Paola Cortese, Country Manager, Plastic Bank Indonesia said: “We are thrilled to be part of this initiative as it is in line with our mission to help the world stop ocean-bound plastic while improving the lives of collector communities. With Plastic Reborn 3.0 we are using business as a force for good to make our collectors recycling-literate across eight waste collection points in Lombok and the surrounding areas. We also provide financial inclusion, transparency, and traceability through Alchemy™ - our blockchain platform while measuring environmental, social, and economic impact.”
CEO and Founder of MallSampah Adi Saifullah Putra also expressed his enthusiasm for being reselected to participate in the Plastic Reborn program. “We have equipped our scavengers and waste collectors partners with an app that can help expedite the waste collection process. With the app, they get to choose which order to take and can record their activities, sales, and income within the system. The app also integrates electronic payment including top up system for collectors. Not only recording collected PET bottles, the app connects buyers with recyclers as well. Through this initiative, we aim to promote transparency and traceability of the recycling process, both of which are in line with our mission to digitize the informal sector.””
Sri Wahyuni, a waste collector from Lombok and Plastic Reborn 3.0 participant also shared the benefits she has reaped from the program. “Through this program I have received invaluable assistance and new insights especially in how to improve waste collection.” After using the Plastic Bank app she also had the opportunity to improve her life and experienced financial inclusion through the ability to convert plastic to rice, tuition fees for her children, and getting health insurance to cover her health and her family.
“We hope that in the future the community is able to independently run the Plastic Reborn 3.0 program. This is a “gate” for workers in the informal sector to connect with a sustainable circular economy by harnessing newly acquired technologies and skills. Turning waste into a high-value resource, we have the potential to provide economic, social, and environmental benefits for Indonesia," concluded Triyono.