As the pioneer brand in sweet soy sauce, Bango has been complementing authentic Indonesian dishes since 1928. But now the brand is on a new sustainable mission: to switch to 100% recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.
Bango is Unilever’s first Foods & Refreshment brand in their South East Asia and Australasia region to launch this innovation.
Deployment of the new bottles for the 275ml and 135ml products started in August. The change will apply to 33 million bottles and reduce over 500 tons of plastic waste every year.
The launch is a big step towards our company-wide commitment that, by 2025, all our plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable, and 25% of it will come from recycled plastic content.
Leading the way
The 100% recycled bottles are halal and have been approved by BPOM, Indonesia’s National Food & Drug Agency. BPOM approval is needed, as it technically assesses the consumer safety of the packaging.
Unilever was the first company in Indonesia’s foods industry to apply for BPOM approval, which took three months to secure.
The team in Indonesia worked closely with external partners to ensure there are enough high-quality recycled bottles to meet our requirements.
“This move is good for the planet because we are significantly reducing our use of virgin plastic,” says Hernie Raharja, Unilever’s VP for Foods & Beverages in Indonesia. “But we hope its impact will be wider than that. We want to encourage consumers to recycle more in general – for it to become a habit over time. We also want to inspire other companies – particularly in consumer goods – to follow our lead.
“The ultimate aim is to create a circular economy for plastic across Indonesia that both cuts waste and keeps it out of the environment.”
“We want to encourage consumers to recycle more in general – for it to become a habit over time. We also want to inspire other companies to follow our lead.” Hernie Raharja
Helping to establish an industry
Indonesians will create around 10 million tons of plastic waste in 2019. According to Sustainable Waste Indonesia, less than 10% of this will be recycled, with more than half going to landfill.
To help boost recycling rates and develop a functioning infrastructure at scale, Unilever is involved in a number of partnerships and programmes.
Alongside other large companies – including Coca-Cola, Danone, Indofood, Nestlé and Tetra Pak – Unilever co-founded PRAISE, an association that aims to support the development of sustainable and integrated packaging waste management solutions across the country.
Through PRAISE and other independent advocacy work, they are actively collaborating with the government on the plastic waste issue.
Unilever also raise awareness of recycling and support local collection through various initiatives, such as community-based waste banks, where individuals sort their waste and deposit it in exchange for money.
So far, they have helped set up almost 3,000 waste banks across Indonesia, including collection points for flexible plastic in eight cities. Together, these have prevented almost 8,000 tons of non-organic waste from being dumped.
The marketing campaign promoting the launch of Bango’s recycled and recyclable bottles aims to encourage consumers to reduce, reuse and recycle, particularly when it comes to plastic packaging.