Labuan Bajo, July 19, 2019 - Today, Danone-AQUA and stakeholders are sending in 10 tons of used plastic bottles, collected through the Komodo Multipurpose Cooperative (KSU), Batu Cermin Recycling Center (PDU) and the Informal Sector in Labuan Bajo. The used bottles will be sent to the Danone-AQUA partner Recycling Business Unit (RBU) in Bali. Furthermore, using high technology is processed to become AQUA Life's new bottle raw material by the Recycling Plant - Namasindo in Bandung. In the future, the collected plastic packaging will also be sent directly to the Veolia Recycling Plant in Pasuruan, East Java, which will be operational in early 2020, to increase the scale of recycling. The measure was taken as a contribution to Danone-AQUA providing a real solution to environmental problems specifically preventing plastic waste from entering the oceans in Labuan Bajo and its surroundings, and supporting the Indonesian government's program to reduce 70% of plastic waste in the oceans by 2025.

As is known, Labuan Bajo is a strategic area, the entrance to the island of Komodo which is a UNESCO cultural heritage. The Indonesian government has designated Labuan Bajo as one of the 10 new Bali programs. President Joko Widodo recently visited and targeted Labuan Bajo as a world-class tourist destination. However, currently Labuan Bajo still faces challenges that require all of our attention, namely waste, especially plastic waste. For this reason, the government, with the support of various parties, has made improvements in various aspects including sustainable waste management. Based on WWF data and a review of the waste management plan compilation team, the average waste generation in the city of Labuan Bajo reaches 112.4 m3 / day, equivalent to 12.8 tons / day.

Various parties, including the Central Government, Regional Government and Non-Governmental Organizations have worked hard to overcome the problem of plastic waste. The involvement of Danone-AQUA in Labuan Bajo began in 2017 aimed at strengthening the ecosystem of recycling plastic waste by facilitating the increase in plastic bottle garbage collection carried out by KSU Komodo, Batu Cermin PDU and collectors from the informal sector. Danone-AQUA is also committed to being a user (offtaker) of recycled plastic bottles that have been collected as new bottle raw materials. With this commitment, the plastic bottle collection program that has been started since a few years ago will guarantee its sustainability.

Regarding this initiative, Dr. Ir. Suseno Sukoyono, M.M., Minister's Expert Staff for Community and Inter-Institutional Relations, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia said, "The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries supports the strengthening of KSU as a form of coastal waste management. We invite all parties to support the development of a circular economy in Labuan Bajo so that the environment in Labuan Bajo can be maintained and further develop its tourism potential. "

On the same occasion, Danone Indonesia's Sustainable Development Director, Karyanto Wibowo said, "This initiative is a concrete action of the #BijakBerplastik movement, strengthening our commitment to a cleaner Indonesia and supporting the Indonesian government's goal to reduce waste in the ocean. We focus on three core aspects, namely: developing collection infrastructure, recycling education for consumers and packaging innovation. These three core aspects aim to help achieve our ambitions in 2025 to collect more plastic than we use ".

Karyanto also added that the model currently being built in Labuan Bajo is concrete evidence of the application of circular economic concepts, as a solution in managing plastic waste (Circularity is Possible). Circular economic model where plastic waste will be processed into raw materials so that it has a positive impact on both environmental and economic aspects. Nevertheless, there are some challenges in building a circular economic model in Labuan Bajo, among others, the high cost of transportation to recycling plants located in Java, public awareness to dispose of garbage in its place and inadequate infrastructure.

Danone-AQUA is committed to implementing a circular economy by making plastic packaging as a resource or raw material that can be used as long as possible. Danone-AQUA pioneered its packaging collection and recycling program by developing the AQUA PEDULI Program in 1993 as the first step towards a more circular packaging model. At present, Danone-AQUA can collect 12,000 tons of plastic annually through 6 Recycling Business Units in various locations in Indonesia. This makes Danone-AQA the only bottled water company that uses recycled materials in its product packaging.