German and Other International Initiatives
The objective of this report is the summarize the ongoing activities of German and other international organizations related to EPR in Indonesia. Similar to the other business sector reports, the intention is to highlight approaches and experiences to enable private sector stakeholders to build on it and to utilize the evolving opportunities.
The waste problem is an issue that is not only faced by a particular country, but is an international challenge. In 2021, Indonesia was listed as the third-largest contributor to plastic waste in the oceans. In the same year, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) stated that the total national waste had reached 68.5 million tons, of which 17% or around 11.6 million tons were plastic waste. The modern lifestyle is considered as one of the main factors creating this high amount of plastic waste. A large-scale waste management program and the implementation of the circular economy concept are needed to address the prevailing issues.
The momentum for establishing a circular economy in conjunction with an EPR has increased significantly since 2019. International development cooperation projects contribute with pilot projects to trial possible approaches e.g., to improve collection. Further, they engage in the development of local expertise regarding municipal waste management in general and EPR related know-how specifically.
From the German side, the adoption of an EPR and circular economy approach in Indonesia has been supported by several programs and projects. First, through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany supports Indonesia’s EPR efforts in three different projects to different degrees that also support the establishment of EPR directly or indirectly:
The project “Rethinking Plastics”: Circular economy to reduce maritime litter, aims at reducing maritime debris through activities in China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The project scheduled for 2019 till 2022 (extension is in discussion) is part of the European’s strategy for plastics and the new circular economy plan. It aims at improving the municipal waste management through analyzing the waste hierarchy and implementing EPR approaches. In Indonesia, the implementation of this program is done by pilot projects, particularly in Semarang City to conducts training for better waste management practices to the public, operators, and waste banks. Lately, the project has also engaged in building and expanding waste collection points in the Semarang area.
Further, the project “Strengthening reduce, reuse, recycle to preserve marine biodiversity” (3RproMar) started mid-2020 and is planned to last till mid-2024. It is aimed at reducing maritime litter in Indonesia and other ASEAN countries. In the medium size city of Manado an integrated 3R approach will be piloted. Taking into account the geography and underwater biodiversity in the midst of the Coral Triangle, Manado, which is also ranked as one of Indonesia's top polluted cities in waste generation (370.3 tons/day, of which 18.5% is plastic) is considered suitable to carrying out the program objectives of to show how the various options for action to reduce the entry of plastics into the sea can be integrated along the whole value chain, including production, prevention, reusing, collection and recycling.
In addition, the “Emissions reduction in cities through improved waste management (DKTI)” initiative is the third project of GIZ. It started in August 2020 and it is active in the regions Bogor Regency, Bukittinggi, Cirebon, Denpasar, Jambi, and Malang. This project was created as 6% of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emission can be traced back to unmanaged waste. In order to improve the know-how, technological capacities, and collection of data about waste management, the GIZ teamed up with the BAPPENAS (Indonesian Ministry of National Developing Planning). This ministry works closely with local agencies to implement the project. Besides, this project is also closely linked with the Green Infrastructure Initiative.
Financially, the largest initiative from the German government is by far the Green Infrastructure Initiative (GII). It does not have a direct EPR component like the other projects, but it supports the development of physical environmental infrastructure in Indonesia. Solid waste management is one of the three focus sectors. The KfW supports the project by providing €2.5bn in loans. The main Indonesian partner is the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment. For capacity building Committee for the Acceleration of Priority Infrastructure Delivery (KPPIP) and the Agency for regional development (BAPPEDA) and work units (SATKER) are part of the projects and help with coordination.
In addition to the German public sector initiatives, there are also activities of German private sector in Indonesia. Even though, most initiatives are driven by funds from international donor agencies, such projects enable companies to familiarize themselves with the Indonesian market.
The STOP initiative was launched in 2017 by Borealis and SYSTEMIQ in order to create low-cost, circular, replicable, zero-leakage waste systems. In their approach, they focus on long-term implementation, transparency through data collection and circular revenue streams. Currently, they are active in four different cities and are building waste management facilities amongst others. They also provide training on waste management for the general public and for collectors and people working in sorting waste. The first location for the project was the city of Muncar, where STOP created the first proper waste management system for the city. This initiative is amongst others also supported by the Schwarz Group and Siegwerk.
German company Cirplus in cooperation with Plastik Bank engages in a project to supply traceable plastic residues which should be sold via the online market place of Cirplus. Using blockchain technology, this project connects all stakeholders along the value chain from the household level to the companies interested in purchasing recyclates. More demand shall encourage collection.
Another German institutional initiative is the PREVENT Waste Alliance. It was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as a Germany based platform with international reach to facilitate exchange and international cooperation between stakeholders from the waste management sector. Several Indonesian organizations have become a member of PREVENT. A first batch of pilot projects has been implemented in Indonesia as well. In regards to the promotion of the EPR concept, PREVENT has developed an EPR toolbox together with Indonesian stakeholders, including the Indonesia Plastic Recyclers Association (ADUPI) as well as the Packaging and Recycling Association for Indonesia’s Sustainable Environment (PRAISE). The EPR toolbox can be used freely.
Among other international supporting countries, there is Denmark which entered into a bilateral partnership with Indonesia on solid waste management and circular economy. Among the objectives of the initiative is the development of an improved framework to enable more private sector involvement in the Indonesian solid waste management sector, incl. contributions to the development of an EPR scheme.4 Together with the Norwegian government Denmark co-sponsored a recent study that would analyze the status quo of the Indonesian EPR system.
At present it is difficult to foresee to what extent international support can speed up the process to a more comprehensive legal framework that would provide the foundation for a comprehensive EPR scheme. We have to assume that this is not going to happen in the short term. With limited chances of a stronger legal framework, much will depend on whether the general public pressure and (of course) the pressure coming from the existing regulation will encourage further private sector driven initiatives. Donor funding will continue to be an important driver for the piloting of innovative approaches.