SIEGBURG, Germany - Siegwerk, a provider of printing inks for packaging applications and labels, has become a strategic partner of Project STOP, an initiative, co-founded by Borealis and SYSTEMIQ, that designs, implements and scales circular-economy solutions to marine plastic pollution in Southeast Asia. Since its launch in 2017, Project STOP has welcomed various industrial and governmental partners designing, implementing and scaling circular economy solutions to prevent plastic waste pollution. Siegwerk is now joining this network of system-relevant players that are committed to support the establishment of on-the-ground solutions in Indonesia.

Every year, roughly 12 million tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean, impacting community health, wealth and polluting the environment. An estimated 50% of marine debris originates from just five Asian economies: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. With an annual consumption of more than six million tons of plastic and an estimated ocean leakage of one million tons per year, Indonesia is the second-largest contributor to ocean plastics. In response, the Indonesian government has created a Marine Debris Action Plan in 2017, committing itself to reduce Indonesia’s ocean plastic levels 70% by 2025. Project STOP has four core objectives: zero leakage of waste into the environment; creating more circular systems; achieving economic sustainability; and providing benefits to local community by creating new jobs and reducing the impact of mismanaged waste on public health, tourism and fishers.

The initiative works hand-in-hand with local municipalities and environmental agencies to help develop a low cost and circular waste management infrastructure through city partnership projects across Indonesia. “We strongly believe that creating a circular economy is the solution to today’s global waste problem, and we see it as our responsibility as global player to actively support its realization,” said Alina Marm, Head of Circular Economy Hub at Siegwerk.

“As strategic partner of Project STOP, we are now able to deliver on our commitment in a way that empowers local communities by building a circular system to successfully tackle the very real and immediate problems of plastic waste pollution. The initiative’s overall goal is to increase recycling rates, achieve zero ocean leakage and create social benefits for local communities. It combines a rapid acceleration of waste management systems at city level with system level policy, investment, behavior change and innovation in material design approaches. By joining Project STOP, we have the exciting opportunity to be an active part of a system-changing impact initiative concretely supporting areas with minimal to no waste management services and high plastic leakage rates by building infrastructures, empowering circular processes and encouraging behavior change,” added Ralf Hildenbrand, President Americas.

Indonesia plays an important role for Siegwerk, as the country is home of numerous employees and customers. With one site in Tangerang and one blending center in Surabaya, the company knows about the challenges across the country. Today, Project STOP supports three cities in Indonesia with extremely high ocean plastic leakage levels: Muncar, a coastal fishing community in Banyuwangi; Pasuruan, a coastal city located in Java; and Jembrana, located on the northwest coast of Bali.

To date, more than 55,000 people already benefit from waste collection, most for the first time. Project STOP has collected nearly 5,000 tons of waste (650 tons of plastic) and created more than 90 full-time jobs. Through its work in Muncar, Pasuruan and Jembrana, Project STOP will reach up to 450,000 people and prevent 40,000 tons of waste 4,700 tons of plastic waste from leaking into the environment annually, grow local employment and provide replicable solutions and innovations for other cities.

“We firmly believe that a complex issue like ocean pollution can only be tackled through partnerships along the value chain,” said Alfred Stern, Borealis CEO. “Having Siegwerk as a strategic partner of Project STOP will help accelerate the successful delivery and expansion of our city partnerships in Indonesia and provide a foundation for further actions in the region.”

“Together with Borealis, we are thrilled to welcome Siegwerk to our committed group of strategic partners, which includes the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nestlé, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, and Borouge,” said Joi Danielson, Asia Programme Director and Partner at SYSTEMIQ. “Their commitment to ending ocean plastic pollution will benefit cities and the communities where Project STOP works.”

Launched in 2017 by Borealis and SYSTEMIQ, Project STOP (Stop Ocean Plastics) works with cities to create effective waste management systems that eliminate plastics leakage into the ocean and creates circular systems in Southeast Asia. Supported by industry and government partners, Project STOP aims to achieve zero leakage of waste into the environment, recycle more plastics, be economically sustainable, and create benefits, including jobs, for the local community.