In Indonesia, waste proliferation due to the excessive use of plastic packaging and the lack of disposal management infrastructure to address it, especially in areas populated by those of lower socio-economic status, is a mounting problem for the local environment. It causes flooding and other sanitary issues, which negatively impacts the population's economy and health.
I believe that by incorporating the 'upcycling' design method of plastic packaging, a positive cyclical impact in reducing waste can be achieved. Creating secondary purposes for packaging that enables an ecosystem with beneficial opportunities for the impoverished community in Jakarta and its surrounding, would add indispensable value to what might otherwise turn into useless materials, and help prevent them from causing hazardous flooding and sanitary-related diseases.
Selecting plastic bottle and plastic cup to be redesigned came naturally after discovering that those are the products mostly purchased by the people living in the village. Inspired by a water bottle packaging that could then be transformed into rooftop tiles for the underprivileged community, I wanted to design a packaging structure that would serve as building materials for their secondary purpose. By working closely with these people and Habitat for Humanity Indonesia, I decided to design the packages that would have a dual-function as its secondary purpose, as walls and also floor tiles.
After living in the impoverished area for a few days to immerse myself into the community and after many activities and interviews I did with the people, I realized that the solution needs to be bigger than just a packaging. I found many opportunities that could be tackled as a fruition of this design solution. One of the examples is to employ the women community, who tend to spend their afternoon socializing while doing nothing productive, in an assembly workshop that still allows them to socialize with their friends, which will enable them to generate more income to their households.
The final solution turned out to be a whole ecosystem based on the new packaging design, which would involve many groups of people. By realizing our interdependency to one another, I am optimistic that the proliferation of plastic waste in Indonesia could be stopped, and by using this solution, other major problems we have should eventually dissolve as well.