Packaging plays essential roles in product management, brand identity, and consumer protection. However, it is often conflicting with environmental sustainability issues. Packaging is considered responsible for plastic waste leakage into the environment because it is not designed for recycling. Only 20% of the plastic produced in Indonesia has been designed for recycling since the beginning. As a result, 61% of plastic waste ends up burned, leaked into water bodies, or dumped on land in Indonesia.


This study aims to enable relevant stakeholders to consider a recycled-friendly packaging design, starting with developing potential D4R criteria for three-priority packaging. Literature review, Delphi survey, and stakeholder consultation are used to select priority packaging, understand the current design obstacles, develop D4R criteria, and strategise the adoption. The study reviewed 28 laws, regulations, decrees, and standards; assessed numerous statistical reports and articles; and involved 14 experts from various backgrounds in the Delphi survey, resulting in potential D4R criteria for three-priority packaging. The D4R criteria were discussed in stakeholder consultation with 40 representatives of government, upstream, and downstream stakeholders.


The priority packaging is selected based on the production scale, current recycling rate, and readiness of producers to adopt the D4R criteria. The three-priority packaging is (i) HDPE-LDPE containers for personal and home care products; (ii) PET bottles for mineral water; and (iii) PP cups for food and beverage products. The D4R criteria are broken down into eleven packaging components: the body, closure, seal and tamper, label, sleeve, barrier, additive, adhesive, ink, direct printing, and other components. Based on the current design obstacles, the fully compatible D4R criteria are mono-material, natural or light colour, bigger size, small and easy-to-remove label, no sleeve, use only the essential additive and barrier, water-soluble adhesive, washable ink, laser marker for production and expiry dates, emboss for material logo, and easy-to-remove parts for other components. Stakeholders need further discussion regarding the minimum packaging size due to conflicting interests between downstream and upstream stakeholders. The upstream stakeholders need references for the barriers, additives, adhesives, and inks compatible with recycling, especially for non-food packaging.


The D4R guideline might impact increasing production costs, technology adjustment, and unfair competition between early adopters and reluctant adopters. The study recommends that the government provide partial grants for SMEs to adopt the D4R criteria. Big producers are encouraged to join a packaging recovery organisation where the different charge between early adopters and reluctant adopters is applied. Additional charges from reluctant adopters are managed as Advance Recycling Fees to attract and subsidise the downstream stakeholders in collecting and recycling the less compatible packaging. The relevant government agencies need to continue stakeholder consultation before issuing the D4R guideline.


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