Removing Indonesian noodles from the plastic soup

This is a joint press release by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers VNO-NCW

Environment Minister Dijksma, VNO-NCW, and Friesland Campina have made agreements with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the business community aimed at tackling the use of single-use packaging for products such as noodles, chocolate and coffee. This type of packaging leads to more litter on the streets and in the sea (plastic soup) – a severe problem in Indonesia given that the country is now the world’s biggest plastic polluter.

Minister Dijksma: "Environmentally harmful single-use packaging used for chocolate and noodles constitutes a complex puzzle because it’s very important that people on a low income continue to have access to such products. Dutch companies are recognised for their excellence in finding creative – and at the same time affordable – solutions for combating packaging litter."

Hans de Boer, VNO-NCW Chair: "Innovative solutions can help people here and their environment. In addition, we will soon be able to export proven solutions to other countries that are having to deal with an excess of plastic packaging and the related problem of litter."

Plastic soup

Single-use packaging was developed by food suppliers in order to bring affordable products onto the market. The low price of the packaging enables people to still buy shampoo, detergent, noodles and coffee, only in very small amounts. The downside is that a lot of such packaging ends up on the streets and in the water. According to the UN, plastic soup –  the build-up of plastic waste in seas and rivers – results in an annual cost of 13 billion dollars.

Tackling litter

Kadin (the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry), the Indonesian business community, the Dutch government, VNO-NCW, and Friesland Campina will be cooperating in the fight against litter on streets and in the water. The knowledge and experience of the Dutch business community will be used to improve the collection of single-use products. Moreover, consideration will be given to the use of more biodegradable materials and larger packaging, all without denying people on a low income access to the products in question. At the same time, the Netherlands and Indonesia also want to work on raising awareness of the danger to the environment that plastic litter presents.