(Left to right) Head of Corporate Communications for Indonesia and PNG Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Ardhina Zaiza and Director of Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability PT Coca-Cola Indonesia Triyono Priyosoesilo at a media discussion on circular economy in Jakarta on Oct. 5, 2022. (Photo Courtesy of Coca-Cola Indonesia)

We Only Have One Planet: Coca-Cola on Circular Economy

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

OCTOBER 30, 2022

Jakarta. “We only have one planet.” That was what Triyono Prijosoesilo, Director of Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability PT Coca-Cola Indonesia, told the Jakarta Globe in a recent interview.  

Linear economy, which is known for its take-make-dispose business model, has been prevalent in the private sector. But this cannot go on. Such a business model is harmful to the planet we live on. Businesses need to make steps to go from linear to circular.

"If a linear economy persists, there would come a time when the planet would not be able to endure it. Whether you like it or not, businesses must change. A circular economy is a more sustainable model [compared to the linear economy] and it can help lift the planet's burden," Triyono told the Globe on the sidelines of a circular economy forum in Jakarta earlier this month.

"This is a matter of business survival. The circular economy is the answer for businesses that would like to grow in the long run. If you want your business to survive for the next thirty to a hundred years, a circular economy is the only way," he said. 

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Triyono said Coca-Cola had been in the industry for more than a hundred years. 

“We have witnessed various global trends. This challenge is not only restricted to businesses but also the society as a whole. If we want to survive, we have to adapt, we have to change.” 

World Without Waste
Coca-Cola is working on a circular business model with its flagship “World Without Waste” vision. It has an overarching goal of collecting and recycling the equivalent of a bottle or a can for every one the company sells globally by 2030. 

To turn a "World Without Waste" into reality, Coca-Cola aims to make its packaging entirely recyclable by 2025. The company has set a goal to use at least 50 percent recycled content in its packaging by 2030. 

“I think we are hitting the quarter-way mark, or almost halfway done, to reach our goal. At least in Indonesia, we have collected more than 30 percent of the plastic [packaging] that we use.” Triyono said.

Coca-Cola has three pillars to achieve a World Without Waste, namely Design, Collect, and Partner. The Design pillar deals with making the packaging more recyclable. For instance, Sprite —one of the famous beverages of the Coca-Cola brand— has replaced its signature green bottle with a clear one to make it easier to recycle. 

Coca-Cola's efforts on the Collection pillar range from improving the waste collection ecosystem by working alongside industry, under PRAISE (Packaging and Recycling Alliance for Indonesia Sustainable Environment), and governments to support the development of Indonesia Packaging Recovery Organizations (IPROs) in Indonesia.

Last but not least is the Partner pillar, which as the name suggests, revolves around Coca-Cola teaming up with other stakeholders for a World Without Waste.

During the interview, Triyono admitted that the collection pillar could get pretty challenging in Indonesia, as it "differs market by market."  

"We don't find informal waste collectors anywhere else besides Indonesia. Other countries are landmass, unlike Indonesia which is an archipelagic country. So waste might get into the sea and later end up on another island," he told the Globe.

According to Triyono, Indonesia is home to price-sensitive consumers. For instance, drinks sold in small packaging are common because they are cheaper than their larger counterpart.

"By taking that reality into account, there is a need to build a mechanism that enables producers to roll out products accepted by the consumers, but can also drive a circular economy. How? By driving waste collection in collection centers, nurturing recycling habits, and so on," Triyono said.

Lucia Karina, Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability Director for Indonesia and PNG Coca-Cola Europacific Partners said that to support broader recycling efforts in Indonesia and the development of a circular economy for PET plastic bottles, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Indonesia will soon be opening a state-of-the-art plastic recycling facility that operated under Amandina Bumi Nusantara in a joint venture with Dynapack Asia. 

The plastic PET recycling facility will create a closed-loop plastic packaging supply chain in Indonesia by producing food and beverage-safe plastic pellets made from post-consumer plastic bottles. In 2022, Amandina had a recycling capacity of 15,000 tons per year, which is planned to increase to 25,000 tons per year by 2023.

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