The Alliance to End Plastic Waste announced this week a US$36 million commitment to develop a range of sustainable solutions and projects in Indonesia, intended to advance the country’s national goals to reduce 70% ocean plastic pollution by 2025 and achieve near zero leakage by 2040.
According to the Alliance, the launch of this seed fund can, in turn, catalyse up to five times more public and private sector investment to end plastic waste in the environment.
As the first country to establish a National Plastic Action Partnership, Indonesia has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing the plastic waste challenge and the country is a designated priority for the Alliance. Various projects across the archipelago will receive support.
The Alliance has been cctive in the country since 2019. Its first project was Project STOP Jembrana in partnership with Systemiq, which is still operating. That project aims to develop a collection, sorting, processing, and recycling system to serve 150,000 people in the regency.
The flagship programme of the Alliance is Bersih Indonesia: Eliminasi Sampah Plastik, which has started with Phase One in Malang. Bersih Indonesia in Kabupaten Malang will establish an integrated waste management system, including household collection services for 500,000 households. The Alliance is providing a US$29 million grant to build infrastructure including five transfer stations, five materials recovery facilities, and a fleet of over 1,100 vehicles.
The focus is on diverting up to 60,000 tonnes of plastic waste from the environment by 2025; achieving a recycling rate for plastic waste of up to 50% by 2025 for its projects; and engaging with up to 2.7 million Indonesians through behavioural change programmes.
With the programme, the Alliance aims to demonstrate a financially sustainable waste management system for emerging markets that includes household collection fees; the sale of collected plastic waste material to off-takers in a competitive market; and government contribution to operating expenses. If successful, the model can be replicated nationally.
Another thrust will be to run broader education campaigns on waste management and household waste segregation to enhance waste management literacy, as well as enable better collection and sorting.
According to Jacob Duer, President and CEO of the Alliance, mobilising philanthropic financing is a key first step to develop, deploy and derisk sustainable solutions that can be scaled and replicated for greater impact.
“No one organisation can solve a challenge of this size alone. Therefore, one of our goals is to catalyse additional funding from governments and development banks as blended finance that will mobilise private funds to improve waste management and advance a circular economy for plastic,” he said.
The Alliance has also supported Systemiq’s research of an investable blended finance model for waste collection and sortation infrastructure. A white paper will be published soon. Co-developed with the Government of Indonesia, this is a first attempt at designing a viable and replicable financing scheme for waste management systems in underserved areas.
“Ending plastic waste is a complex challenge that requires holistic action, underpinned by strong public-private-people collaboration to address various systemic gaps for sustainable waste management. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste has been a valued partner in the implementation of the NPAP roadmap to reduce plastic pollution,” said Sri Indrastuti Hadiputranto, Chair of the Indonesia National Plastic Action Partnership.