Jakarta. Danone-Aqua, Indonesia's oldest and largest brand of bottled water, unveiled the country's first 100 percent recycled plastic bottle during the 2018 Our Ocean Conference in Bali last week, as part of its commitment to helping reduce plastic pollution in the archipelago.
"We want to show that it is possible and achievable. [This is] the first 100 percent rPET bottle in Indonesia, meaning that this bottle has been made without using any virgin plastic. So all the plastic we use for this bottle is [from] recycled bottles," Tirta Investama president director Corine Tap said in a recent interview, referring to recycled polyethylene terephthalate.
Tirta Investama is the company behind the Danone-Aqua brand.
The company can currently only produce the 100 percent rPET bottles in 1.1-liter format, which will be slightly more expensive than the 1.5-liter bottles commonly found in stores across the country.
"For us, this project is also a lot about education and to bring awareness to Indonesian consumers… Here, they have an option to buy a product that actually uses 100 percent recycled plastic," Tap said.
Indonesia is the world's second-biggest plastic polluter after China, according to a 2015 study by the University of Georgia and published in the academic journal, Science.
Southeast Asia's largest economy generates around 3.22 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste annually, about 40 percent of which ends up in the ocean.
Tirta Investama aims to educate Indonesian consumers on recycling culture, which is part of its #BijakBerplastik commitment launched in June.
The new packaging has a minimalistic design and ditches the additional blue plastic label that used to be the Aqua brand's signature.
The new bottles are expected to be commercially available in Bali from December, while it should reach consumers in Jakarta by next year, Tap said.
"It is currently impossible to make all our bottles from 100 percent rPET; this is why this is such a huge innovation, because it is possible now to do it in a product like this," Tap said.
Danone-Aqua is upbeat that it can scale up production and use recycled PET in 50 percent of its packaging by 2025.