Staying true to its Purpose of Brewing for a Better Today and Tomorrow, Carlsberg Malaysia collaborated with Ripple (Sabah Recycling Association) to pilot-test a three-year glass bottle recycling and community empowerment programme named CarlsBot. Committing towards its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda, the brewer has co-created a glass bottle ecosystem with Ripple to recycle its non-returnable glass bottles in Kota Kinabalu by empowering local communities to tackle waste and generate income.
Glass is one of the most difficult waste items to dispose of in Sabah. Unlike plastic and organic waste, there has not been much effort to find ways to turn glass into products that could generate income. As Sabahans recover from the socio-economic effects of the pandemic, Carlsberg Malaysia stepped up its investment on ESG, in addition to sales and marketing in Sabah, to make a difference to the lives and livelihoods of the local communities. The CarlsBot programme will address the mounting issue of
disposal, collection and recycling of glass bottles in Kota Kinabalu through the three-year programme, which will take place from end 2022 to 2025.
The programme’s namesake takes cue from its famous flagship brand ‘Carlsberg’ – “Carls” while “Bot” refers to a “ro-bot” or machine that can crush glass “bot-tle”, hence the name “CarlsBot”. The CarlsBot machine can crush approximately 600kg of glass bottles in an hour, which is equivalent to 2,352 pints of Carlsberg glass bottles.
For year one, three CarlsBot machines will be made available in Kota Kinabalu at the Tanjung Aru Marine Ecosystem Center (TAME) and two community centres in Luyang and Kingfisher. These made in-Sabah CarlsBot machines can generate income for Sabahans whilst reducing glass waste in the beautiful Land Below the Wind. The CarlsBot machine, brainchild of a native Sabahan inventor, Adrian Lasimbang of TONIBUNG (Friends of Village Development), was inspired by other glass bottles crushers in the market which he then improvised to provide a solution to the overflow of unrecycled glass bottles that end up in landfills.
With the crushed glass produced by CarlsBot in the forms of cullet, coarse sand and fine sand, Ripple provides the recycled materials to local communities and trains them with entrepreneurial, innovation, marketing and sales skills to repurpose the glass bottle waste into materials which can be used in various beneficial ways, for example to pave roads or be upcycled into handicrafts, furniture and even big ideas like 3D printed housing and Kota Kinabalu shoreline sand retention, while also generating additional income for local entrepreneurs and preserving the nature.
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