Pact on packaging waste

Marea members (front row, from left) Dutch Lady Milk Industries Consumer Dairy business director Ramjeet Kaur, Goh, Aranols, Colgate-Palmolive Malaysia legal counsel Wanaz Merican, (second row, from left) Tetra Pak Malaysia managing director Michael Wu, Etika Group of Companies CEO Khalid Alvi, Fraser & Neave Malaysia CEO Lim Yew Hoe, Unilever Malaysia legal counsel Lisa Tan, (third row, from left) Spritzer CEO Kenny Lim, Mondelez International Malaysia managing director James Kane and Coca-Cola Malaysia chief financial officer Sumit Goyal.

COGNISANT of the rising environmental impact from consumer packaging waste, industry leaders in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector have teamed up to address the issue.

The Malaysian Recycling Alliance (Marea) has been established to enable a voluntary, industry-led extended producer responsibility (EPR) group of like-minded companies to focus on boosting the value chain and significantly improving collection and recycling of post-consumer packaging.

The first alliance of its kind in the country, Marea comprises 10 initial members, made up of Coca-Cola Malaysia, Colgate-Palmolive Malaysia, Dutch Lady Milk Industries, Etika Group of Companies, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Mondelez International, Nestle Malaysia, Spritzer, Tetra Pak Malaysia and Unilever Malaysia.

Marea’s goals will primarily revolve around enhancing collection, promoting the use of recycled and renewable materials as well as minimising post-consumer packaging leakage into the environment.

Marea is committed to collaborating with the Malaysian government and other stakeholders to drive its goal of achieving circular economy solutions that are conducive to a cleaner and greener Malaysia.

Among the initial tasks to be undertaken by Marea will be to strengthen public-private collaborations as well as drive consumer education and awareness of better packaging waste disposal.

An incentive scheme will also be implemented via a pilot project where consumer packaging waste, including polyethylene terephthalate bottles, used beverage cartons, high-density polyethylene and flexible packaging will be collected and channelled to recycling providers.

Marea chairman and Nestle (M) Bhd chief excecutive officer Juan Aranols said, “As industry leaders, the members of Marea decided that we must proactively take action by creating the first EPR platform to radically improve how consumer packaging waste is managed in Malaysia.

“Through Marea, we will rethink how we can make the packaging value chain more environmentally sustainable.

“However, change cannot be driven by one entity alone and requires proactive collaboration between FMCG companies, policy makers, consumers, recycling companies and other stakeholders who share an aspiration.”

Progress in packaging sustainability is a high priority for Marea member companies, each of which has its own initiatives and measures to address the environmental impact of packaging waste.

“Our aim is to promote sustainable end-of-life disposal of post-consumer plastic packaging waste through higher recyclability and recycled content.

“Changing consumer habits is also integral in our sustainability agenda and this can only come from sustained and effective programmes, which we intend to roll out with partners and other stakeholders, ” said Marea general manager Pauline Goh.

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