ADB Signs $44.2 Million Blue Loan with ALBA to Reduce Ocean Plastic Waste in Indonesia

ADB and PT ALBA executives during the loan signing.
This project showcases the potential for PET recycling in Indonesia, while the certified blue loan aims to attract more investors into waste management and recycling.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $44.2-million blue loan with PT ALBA Tridi Plastics Recycling Indonesia, an ALBA Group Asia company, to establish a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling facility in Central Java.

ADB and the Leading Asia's Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP) will each provide $22.1 million in funding for the project. Blue loans are financing instruments that aim to safeguard access to clean water, protect underwater environments, and invest in a sustainable water economy.

"Plastic pollution causes billions of dollars in irreversible harm to our marine ecosystem, and also has severe impacts on economies and public health," said ADB Vice-President for Private Sector Operations and Public–Private Partnerships Ashok Lavasa. "This project showcases the potential for PET recycling in Indonesia, while the certified blue loan aims to attract more investors into waste management and recycling."

Each year, approximately 8 to 12 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean. Indonesia is one of the top contributors to marine plastic pollution. Its government has implemented policy initiatives targeting a 70% reduction in plastic waste leakage by 2025 and achieving near-zero plastic pollution by 2040.

The recycling plant will process PET beverage bottles into high-quality recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) flakes and food-grade rPET pellets, which can be used to produce new rPET bottles. The plant is expected to recycle up to 48,000 tons of PET bottles annually, diverting them from landfills, open burning, or leakage into the ocean. The plant will produce 36,000 tons of rPET, which will offset up to 30,500 tons of carbon dioxide that would have resulted from using virgin PET.

“It has been a pleasure working with ADB on this landmark project for Central Java,” said ALBA Group Asia Limited Chairman Axel Schweitzer. “Our project will increase food-grade rPET production capacity in Indonesia and contribute to the creation of a circular economy for plastics. We are excited to do more projects like this in Indonesia and the wider Southeast Asia region, and look forward to partnering with ADB to explore future opportunities.”

The certified blue loan adheres to ADB’s Ocean Finance Framework and the defined criteria for investments under its Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies.

LEAP is an ADB-managed fund capitalized with a $1.5 billion commitment by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Established in 2016, LEAP focuses on delivering high-quality and sustainable private sector infrastructure projects that reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency, and offer accessible and affordable health care, education, and communication services to ADB’s developing member countries.

ALBA has more than 50 years of experience in Europe and more than 20 years in Asia in the waste management and recycling industry. ALBA Group Asia has its headquarters in Hong Kong, China, and has its operating facilities in the People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, and Singapore. In 2022, ALBA Group Asia successfully completed the joint venture acquisition of PT Tridi Oasis Group and created PT ALBA Tridi Plastics Recycling Indonesia.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

This article was first published by ADB on 6 June 2023.