Carlsberg has partnered with NGOs to launch a bottle recycling & community empowerment project in the East Malaysian state of Sabah.
Collaborating with the Ripple (Sabah Recycling Association), Project CarlsBot will allow the collection and recycling of non-recyclable glass bottles in Kota Kinabalu over the next three years using a machine developed by a local inventor.
The made-in-Sabah ‘CarlsBot’ was invented by Adrian Lasimbang of TONIBUNG (Friends of Village Development), who wanted to provide a solution to the limited ability to recycle glass bottles in the East Malaysian state while also giving communities a chance to make additional income.
The CarlsBot machines can process approximately 600kg of bottles per hour, the equivalent of 2,352 pints of Carlsberg.
During the project’s first year, three CarlsBot machines will launch: one in the state capital Kota Kinabalu at the Tanjung Aru Marine Ecosystem Center and two community centres in nearby suburban areas Luyang and Kingfisher.
After the machine processes the crushed glass into cullet, coarse sand and fine sand, Ripple provides these materials to local communities and trains them to repurpose the glass bottle waste into products like handicrafts, kitchenware and furniture and build their own small businesses.
“We are very proud and excited to collaborate with a reputable brewer like Carlsberg Malaysia who will provide us with the funding to operate, manage and monitor the CarlsBot programme, a three-year glass bottle ecosystem to effect changes with our network of NGOs and social enterprises including TAME, TONIBUNG, Siung Films, Upcycled Shack, Moyog Innovation House, PACOS Trust and One Ocean Empire on a local grassroots level that will consequently have much larger impacts on the lives of the communities in Kota Kinabalu and the environment of Sabah,” shared Tressie Yap, Ripple’s Chairperson.
“Upon the completion of this pilot programme, we hope that it will be in a solid position to deliver positive impact to the ecology and economy of the communities in Kota Kinabalu and other parts of the Borneo,” shared Managing Director of Carlsberg Malaysia Stefano Clini.
“Our target is to collect at least 30% of our products’ glass bottles in Kota Kinabalu.”
The platform fits into Carlsberg Malaysia’s broader ESG strategy Together towards ZERO and Beyond, which focuses on six ambitions: ZERO Carbon Footprint, ZERO Farming Footprint, ZERO Packaging Waste, ZERO Water Waste, ZERO Irresponsible Drinking and ZERO Accidents Culture.