TRANSFORMing Waste: Alner and Unilever Lead Indonesia’s Circular Economy with Reusable Packaging Innovations

Source: Alner x Unilever Media Gathering 2023
Alner’s successful efforts have led to a reduction of over 1,300 kg of plastic waste in Indonesia. TRANSFORM’s funded initiative allows for scalable, refillable solutions in both community-based and conventional trading venues.
Alner, an innovative start-up in Indonesia that is pioneering reusable packaging solutions for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) products, has been awarded a grant from TRANSFORM to explore refill options for products targeting the lower-middle-class community. This achievement underscores Alner’s leading role in addressing single-use packaging waste at its origin.


Alner X Unilever’s Transform Grants: Scaling New Heights in Circularity 

TRANSFORM serves as an accelerator, fostering sustainable impacts by uniting corporations, donors, investors, and academics. Its mission is to test and expand solutions that enhance the lives of low-income households, specifically focusing on environmental care, health and well-being, and the development of inclusive economies. Guided by Unilever, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and EY, TRANSFORM marries grants with business expertise to embolden entrepreneurs. The success stemming from this funding initiative is shared worldwide to confront global challenges.
In its role as a frontrunner in Indonesia’s reusable packaging industry, Alner has not only championed sustainable practices but also mitigated over 1,300 kg of plastic waste. With TRANSFORM’s support, Alner has strategically placed refill stations in both community-based and conventional trading channels, including local convenience stores (warung) and waste banks. This initiative creates a scalable model allowing customers to refill Unilever products like Sunlight Professional, Rinso Professional, and Wipol Professional.
Alner X Unilever. Source : Changemakr Asia
Alner’s joint venture with TRANSFORM aims to establish a robust record of empowering micro-businesses and multiplying sales points to 500 locations by 2023. Previous efforts in 2021 and 2022 have already enabled Alner to uplift 150 micro-entrepreneurs in the Jabodetabek region. The overarching goal of this program is to expedite the reduction of single-use plastic waste and foster reusable packaging, all while positively influencing diverse communities.
Alner X Unilever Indonesia Media Gathering
From left to right: Darina Maulana, Enviu Zero Waste Living Lab Program Indonesia Lead, engages in a discussion with Maya Tamimi, Head of Division Environment & Sustainability at Unilever Indonesia Foundation, and Bintang Ekananda, Director of Alner (Image : Changemakr Asia)

In collaboration with TRANSFORM, Alner gains significant traction in enhancing societal impact. This partnership alliance allows us to advocate for daily product choices that minimize waste through reuse

Alner’s efforts extend beyond environmental protection, reaching social dimensions, particularly among women. Over 150 of Alner’s reuse partners are women-led, reflecting their crucial contribution to sustainable change up to until March 2023 and the numbers of the communities are still adding up till date . Since May 2023, Most of them esides in these women have thrived as micro-entrepreneurs in the Jabodetabek area. Alner is eager to synergize with more women-led initiatives across Indonesia, fortifying the network of reuse centers and shaping a more resilient and sustainable future.
Speaking on behalf of Unilever, Nurdiana Darus, Director of Sustainability & Corporate Affairs, and Corporate Secretary of Unilever Indonesia, conveyed enthusiasm for collaborating with Alner. The partnership aligns perfectly with Unilever’s Compass vision, enhancing ongoing initiatives to raise awareness about responsible plastic use and waste management in Indonesia.
Unilever Indonesia’s commitment is manifest in more than 100 refill stations in Jabodetabek and Surabaya. Plans for expansion are on the horizon, as evidenced by the successful collection and processing of 62,300 tons of plastic in 2022.
Dedicated to championing responsible consumption, Alner anticipates future collaborations through the TRANSFORM program. By working hand-in-hand with various institutions and communities, the company strives to showcase reusable methods and promote consumption practices that will enrich the circular economy.