Koinpack won the first ADB Innovation Hub’s Healthy Oceans Technology Innovation Challenge (TIC)

We’re proud to announce that Koinpack has won the first ADB Innovation Hub’s Healthy Oceans Technology Innovation Challenge (TIC), a grant awarded to a high-level technology solution to address an identified development challenge. Koinpack focused on tackling plastic waste at the source, and is the first provider of reusable packaging in Indonesia. Koinpack will use the TIC grant to further develop its technology. The TIC grant will be truly catalytic in enabling Koinpacks expansion ambitions to 6000 Points of Sales and preventing 145+ million single-use-packaging in total.

Koinpack’s mission is to prevent single-use packaging (SUP) waste at the source. With its reusable packaging solution, Koinpack specifically provides an answer to Asia’s problem of flexible plastic packaging (e.g. sachets and pouches), which are at the heart of the global plastic leak.

Indonesia is the world’s second-biggest contributor to ocean plastics. One of the largest and most complex contributors to plastic waste are SUPs, and more specifically single-use sachets. As recycling is not yet possible, out of 430 billion sachets produced each year in Southeast Asia less than 3% get downcycled. The rest ends up polluting the environment, often spilling into the oceans.

Launched in 2020, Koinpack built a deposit-based reuse system for plastic packaging, allowing consumers to purchase their favorite brands in reusable bottles, instead of sachets. When they return the bottle, they get a cashback against a small incentive. Koinpack works with existing brands selling fast-moving consumer goods such as detergents and shampoos. The returned bottle is then cleaned and refilled up to 20 times.

A return-on-the-go model like Koinpack’s is an attractive alternative for SUP’s. Return-on-the-go is very convenient for consumers, particularly once the returning of empty bottles becomes a habit and is possible at many locations. At the same time, at scale, the circular chain is more efficient and environmentally beneficial than a model that includes waste collection and recycling.

Koinpack’s first pilot launched with 90 reusable bottles and the venture has only grown since then. Koinpack has expanded to more than 60 sales points in Greater Jakarta and to online sales channels. More than 80% of their sales points currently consist of micro-entrepreneurs, such as female-led waste banks and peer-to-peer agents. They have been able to prevent 200,000+ flexible packaging from being turned into waste – and Koinpack is ready to scale even more.

The TIC grant will enable Koinpack to achieve its short-term and long-term ambition. With the ADB TIC grant, Koinpack will further develop and set up the technology for scale. Required innovations are, for example, standard reusable package designs, distribution tools, return boxes for empty packaging, the cleaning process, and software to track the deposit and incentive scheme. These innovations enable extra capacity and allow Koinpack to scale to 400 sales points in 2023 in Jakarta, avoiding 4,9 million single-use plastics in 2023 alone. By 2026, Koinpack aims to be present in at least 6,000 sales points in Greater Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia 2026, avoiding over 145 million items of single-use packaging from being wasted in total.

The Technology Innovation Challenge of the ADB’s Innovation Hub aims to apply high-level technology solutions to address specific development challenges of ADB developing member countries. It is being implemented under the knowledge and supports technical assistance “Support for Innovation and Technology Partnerships in Asia and the Pacific – Subproject 3: High-Level Technology Application to Address Development Challenges”, which is financed on a grant-basis by the High-Level Technology Fund and administered by ADB.