Purchasing palm-sized sachets of shampoo or coffee powder is economically viable for several consumers in Indonesia, especially low-income consumers. The problem, however, is recyclers do not find value in these small and multi-layered sachets. “And so, they don’t make it to even landfills, but end up in oceans and open dumpsites,” says Enviu’s Venture Builder Bintang Ekananda, recounting the ground reality check he engaged in to start this venture that would effectively plug this plastic leak in Indonesia.
That was 2019. Fast forward to 2023, social venture Alner is leading Indonesia’s economy away from single-use plastics, towards a new reuse economy. It has a powerfully innovative toolkit — 206 community-based sales points, a ‘deposit-return’ business model, mobile apps, and a website.
Enviu venture Alner (Alternative Container) eliminates single-use plastics by offering daily household essentials in reusable bottles, including shampoos, liquid soaps, and seasonings. Its model is designed to cater to consumers across all socio-economic segments. The core objective is to cultivate a zero-waste mindset among consumers.
Between March 2020 and July 2023, the impact venture prevented about 100,239* single-use plastics from ending in landfills and oceans due to its reuse alternatives. Jakarta’s waste management system, too, started adopting its reuse system.
Recognizing this potential, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) invested $450,000 in Alner in 2022-2023. This grant has significantly positioned Alner to expand its operations and scale its impact. According to Bintang, the founder of Alner, the investment has already led to notable developments.
Read more about how ADB’s investment in the early-stage startup is already driving Indonesia towards a new circular economy, with significant social impact.