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  • Writer's pictureThe Circulate Initiative

ASEAN's garbage economy: Startups turn plastic waste into consumer goods

Nikkei Asia

Author: Dylan Loh

While Indonesia possesses tourism gems like the idyllic resort island of Bali, discarded waste - a byproduct of the country's rapid economic development -- has taken the shine off its attractive landscapes. Plastic packaging peppers some of Indonesia's rivers, at times clogging up waterways. The Circulate Initiative said 11 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the oceans every year, with the number projected to triple by 2040.

Because plastic can take hundreds of years to break down - and releases greenhouse gases along the way - eliminating plastic pollution in India and Indonesia alone by 2030 would eliminate 150 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The challenge for startups in the sector is raising money at a time when investors are being held back by global macroeconomic uncertainties, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures.


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