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APRIL is supporting efforts to reduce single-use plastic in Indonesia with a campaign to slash usage in the RAPP Complex in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau.

The RAPP Complex is home to several thousand of the company’s staff, as well as the facilities they use including the RAPP sports complex, food court, and supermarket.

It is also home to Hotel Unigraha, which accommodates both local and foreign guests in the area.

Distribution of canvas bag to reduce the single-used plastic in Indonesia

Suresh Krishnamurthy, who heads APRIL’s Business Continuous Improvement Department (BCID), said that the company’s plastic reduction campaign began in July 2018.

The focus of the campaign is not to eliminate plastic entirely, but to dramatically reduce its usage within the RAPP Complex, he says.

“Our first initiative was to go to the Hotel Unigraha to try and analyse the amount of plastic used there.

“The number we got is that we throw out about 400kg of plastic every month. So that was our starting point,” Suresh shares.

Plastic mineral water bottles in rooms have now been replaced with water dispensers throughout the hotel, while plastic straws have been substituted with paper ones in the hotel restaurant.

Customers are also encouraged to bring their own containers for takeaway food with a reward system in place at the restaurant. Bringing their own containers earns them stamps, which can then be exchanged for free food or drinks.

With these measures, the hotel has managed to reduce its plastic wastage from 400kg to 250kg per month, Suresh says.

The BCID has also spurred a huge change in the residents’ use of the food court and supermarket at the RAPP Complex, as people no longer use plastic bags while eating or shopping there.

According to Suresh, in promoting the campaign, the department has so far distributed 1,300 to 1,500 canvas tote bags to residents.

“Most of the residents and employees have supported this program very well, shopping with their own bags,” Suresh said.

Shoppers who forget to bring their reusable canvas bags to the supermarket can opt to buy new bags for a small fee, he added.

“The plastic campaign will not end here. From the food court, we plan to go into the mills and also the schools where we will teach the kids. Then they will hopefully take what they have learned back to their homes and teach their parents about the significance of plastic reduction and supporting Mother Earth,” Suresh said.

The BCID also hopes to eventually expand the campaign beyond the RAPP Complex and into the wider Kerinci town and Riau province, he said.

APRIL’s ongoing bid to minimise plastic usage reflects RGE’s business principle of doing what is Good for Community, Good for Country, Good for Climate, Good for Customer and Good for Company.

It also supports Indonesia’s commitment to help achieve the global UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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