Give Your Waste a Second Life

There’s an old saying in bahasa Indonesia that goes, “Habis manis sepah dibuang,” which means that once we’ve drained an object out of its use, we simply throw it away.

An apt description for our waste, doesn’t it?

We’re habitually throw away stuff that we don’t need anymore, be that water plastic bottle, jars, a leaky bucket, and even a piece of clothing. And then we continue the cycle of consumption that adds more waste into the bin and, ultimately, to landfill.

So what’s the solution? Some people still see the benefits in discarded old stuff:

“My mom makes wiping cloth from old clothes that we don’t use anymore,” says Alma, a bookstore owner.

“My retired auntie creates bags or wallets from instant coffee sachets, and though she’s doing it just for a hobby, she has friends or strangers interested in buying once she posted on social media,” Litha says, an admin staff for an international school.

“I used to collect bus tickets, clipped them together, and used the blank space for notes,” says Tya, who works for an NGO.

“I cut a plastic bottle in half and use the bottom half as a container for my toothbrush and other bathroom appliances, while the upper half I use as a plant pot,” Sulis says, a housewife.

So what’s your upcyle ideas?



Going Circular

It might come across as thrifty to some of your friends but it’s sustainable. Breathing new life to our waste is part of the earth-loving circular economy, in which the chain of production and consumerism are all interlinked to leave no waste behind. Packages are produced, packages are consumed, then packages are recycled or, in the aforementioned examples, upcycled.

In ecoBali we mostly receive waste that actually still has a purpose. But we are in the business of waste collection and recycling after all—we collect and double sort the waste to find the recyclables, then send it off—or we upcycle ourselves—to facilities that can give our waste a second life. Here are two examples we’ve done:

1. Polyroof

Don’t throw away your used milk and juice beverage cartons because we can still actually benefit from the materials. In collaboration with Tetrapak, as part of their Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), we help collect the empty beverage cartons so its material—paperboard (75%), polyethylene plastic (20%), and aluminum foil (5%)—can be broken down and recycled into new stuff. The paper part will be recycled into new recycled paper, and as for the plastic and aluminum? We turned them into what we call the polyroof: a strong, durable, and heat-resistant roof made from 100% recycled material. A perfect start for your eco-friendly home.

2. Upcycle Glassware

So you might ask, What’s the difference between recycling and upcycling? Well, when you break down your plastic bottle into pellets then use those pellets to create another object— that’s recycling. Upcycle is when you still retain the whole or some of its original form and use it for another purpose, like with our glasses that are made from used glass bottles. Glass waste will take a thousand years to disintegrate, and even though the number of glass waste is comparatively small in Indonesia—around 12.7%—however plenty of them still becomes waste. Upcycling is one of our solutions: transforming your wine, liquor, and mineral water bottles into a drinking glass, vase, bowls, and plates in various shapes and colors. Pretty and definitely a conversation starter at your dining table, don’t you think?








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