Alner: Using a deposit-reward scheme to create a sustainable consumption loop

Innovation Fund Winner

Strengthening small business resilience by supplying refillable products through an enhanced mobile app

Why this program?

  • Single-use non-recyclable items are a detriment to the environment, and consumers end up paying more due to higher costs
  • Many daily essentials such as detergent, dish care, rice, and cooking oil come in single-use non-recyclable packaging with no other option 
  • By incentivizing consumers, Alner is employing a reusable and returnable packaging system in Indonesia, partnering with FMCG brands to source products and collaborates with small businesses for effective distribution.

Program overview

Alner is on a mission to transform Indonesia's packaging landscape. Alner's pioneering approach replaces single-use, non-recyclable packaging for everyday essentials like detergent, dish care, rice, and cooking oil with a sustainable, reusable, and returnable system. Collaborating with Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands for product sourcing and partnering with small businesses for efficient distribution, Alner incentivizes consumers to return packaging through a deposit-reward scheme, creating a sustainable consumption loop.

Spanning five Indonesian cities and empowering around 400 small businesses, Alner's mobile app equips these partners with tools to monitor business performance and environmental impact, tracking the volume of single-use packaging diverted. 

With support from Strive Community's Innovation Fund, Alner plans to enhance its mobile app, introducing features aimed at boosting small businesses' performance. These enhancements include comprehensive training materials, peer-to-peer learning, gamification elements, digital payments, and timely market insights. 

Their data-driven approach optimizes inventories, predicts sales, improves offerings, identifies training needs, and executes targeted marketing, ultimately bolstering the revenue and sustainability of small businesses across Indonesia. 

Alner's commitment to sustainability and empowering local enterprises positions them as pioneers in addressing plastic waste at its source while fostering economic growth in Indonesian communities.

About Alner

Indonesia, ranking as the world's second-largest contributor to marine plastic pollution, faces a critical waste management crisis. Predominantly in low-income regions, daily necessities are packaged in sachets and pouches—compounding the plastic problem due to their non recyclable nature and challenging collection process. Alner addresses this issue innovatively, supplying daily essentials—detergent, shampoo, and food—packaged in reusable, returnable containers. Our solution uses a deposit and reward system to substitute non-recyclable, single-use packaging, tackling plastic waste at the source. Our solution includes:

  1. Providing reusable packaging to our Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) partners.
  2. FMCGs package their products using our provided containers.
  3. We retail the products via microentrepreneur points of sale (PoS) partners or through our digital platforms, equipping PoS with a mobile app to track packaging, customer returns, inventories, and sales data while quantifying plastic waste reduction. This strategy engages small businesses to be environmental stewards within their communities.
  4. Post-use, customers return the empty containers at PoS and swap them for pre-filled ones during their next purchase from Alner—receiving cashback rewards to promote their return habit.
  5. We recollect the used packaging from the PoS, restock, clean, and reuse them in collaboration with our FMCG partners. Our full-circular system ensures zero plastic waste, while enhancing consumer experience and allowing brands to maintain their operational models. 

With Strive Community's Innovation Fund backing, Alner is set to elevate our app, putting a spotlight on our refillable products. Our upcoming features aim to bolster small businesses, merging rich training and digital ease. Through data insights, we'll help businesses optimize sales and sustainability. Our goal? Combat plastic waste and strengthen Indonesia's local economies, one refill at a time.

Bintang Ekananda

Co-founder and CEO, Alner

Implementation partners

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