This is a blog from our Indonesia Program Lead Darina Maulana
I had the great honor of representing Enviu at The Economist’s Global Plastics Summit in the vibrant city of Bangkok from October 11th to 12th, 2023. It was a melting pot of ideas, discussions, and innovative strategies to address one of the world’s most pressing issues – plastic pollution.
This was a profound momentum for Enviu, as we have been working against plastic pollution since 2019. Our focus has been on enabling reuse and refill solutions through our ventures in Indonesia. We also play a vital role as thought leaders in the reuse ecosystem in Indonesia through our program Zero Waste Living Lab and our program in the Netherlands: Mission Reuse.
Focusing on the critical enablers and roadblocks
One of the primary goals of the summit was to prepare the Zero draft for the upcoming Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution (INC) of the United Nations meeting in Nairobi in November. During this summit, we worked together to enrich the draft by focusing on the critical aspects of reuse and refill.
After days of brainstorming, discussing, and ideating, these are 4 of the key takeaways from the working group I was in to be suggested for the INC Draft:
- Leveling the Playing Field for Reuse
One standout theme from the summit was the need to put reuse on a level playing field. How can reuse compete with the single-use economy that is so cheap and currently has no lawful consequence?
To achieve this, we discussed the importance of pushing for contextual policies that support reuse, making it accessible to all stakeholders. E.g.: an explicit ban on single-use plastic, involving reuse and refill in most of the roadmap and not siloed to specific topics only. The goal is to foster the economic scale of reuse, enabling it to become a sustainable and widely adopted solution in the fight against plastic pollution.
- Prioritizing Reuse Financing
Financing reuse initiatives emerged as a top priority. Bridging the gap from pilot projects to commercial scale requires substantial support from both public and private funding sources. Ensuring that the financial framework aligns with the growth of reuse is a critical step towards making it a widespread practice.
- Embedding Reuse in Policy
An overarching principle that resonated with the summit attendees was the need to integrate reuse into every facet of the policy. This includes treating it as a standalone topic and incorporating it into Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) design, taxation strategies, and beyond. This holistic approach is crucial for significantly reducing plastic waste.
- A Just Transition Through Reuse
The summit reinforced that a just transition is possible by adopting reuse practices within our communities. By making reuse an integral part of our daily lives, we can take substantial steps toward creating a cleaner and more circular world.
Integrating reuse into our policies, practices, and everyday lives is essential for a meaningful and effective approach to combat plastic pollution significantly.
Moving forward, together!
From our experience enabling reuse solutions and ecosystems for 4 years now, the market is aware, validated, and ready to change. It is now in our hands to ensure the system is available, at scale, and inclusive. To make that happen, collaboration is truly the key!
Together, we can work towards a cleaner, more sustainable future. 🌍🔄