Danone-Veolia opens recycling plant to reduce plastic waste in Pasuruan

Pasuruan Industrial Estate Rembang Inside view of a recycling facility for PET bottles at the Pasuruan Industrial Estate Rembang (PIER) in Rembang district of Pasuruan regency, East Java. (Photo by Danone-Aqua & Veolia Indonesia/Corporate Communication)

Source: The Jakarta Post

Date: 30 June 2021

The government has inaugurated a PET bottle-recycling factory in Pasuruan, East Java, that will help reduce plastic waste in Indonesia, especially from single-use plastic bottles.

The plant, which started operating in April, was built in a partnership between bottled-water company Danone-AQUA and water-technologies company Veolia Indonesia. With 225 employees, it has a production capacity of 25,000 tons per year of food-grade recycled PET plastic (RPET).

Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang said the plant would strengthen the recycling ecosystem and the circular economy in Indonesia. He added that there were more than 1,300 plastic recycling plants in Indonesia with a total capacity of 2.3 million tons per year and investment of over Rp 7 trillion (US$482.5 million).

"It can support the government's target of [reducing] plastic waste in the sea by up to 70 percent by 2025," Agus said during his remarks at an online inauguration event on Wednesday.

In an audit by an international movement called Break Free from Plastic, Danone was identified as one of the top-three companies producing the most plastic waste. The group has long called on large national and multinational corporations to take responsibility for plastic pollution caused by their operations.

The company pledged in 2018 that 50 percent of the plastic used for its water and other beverages would be recycled plastic by 2025. In 2019, just 25 percent of the plastic used was recycled material.

Connie Ang, president director of Danone-AQUA, said the new PET bottle-recycling factory would speed up this process, so that the company could fulfil its target in 2025.

"This factory bolsters the efforts by Danone-AQUA to triple the use of recycled plastic [in its water and other beverage battles] in 2022 versus what we use today," Connie said.

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