Malaysia is in the TOP 10 global contributors to ocean plastic leakage.

Coca Cola Foundation together with GA Circular published a report that provides for the first time, systematic and comparable baseline collection rates for PET bottles (one of the most recyclable forms of plastic packaging) in Southeast Asia and highlights the need for a fundamental shift in the approach to driving circularity of PET bottles.

The six countries studied (Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia) account for a total population of over 600 million people, more than the population of all the EU’s 28 countries. Five of these six countries are among the top ten global contributors to ocean plastic leakage.


  • The collected-for-recycling rate for PET bottles in the six countries is on average 54% at the city level (based on nine representative cities) and is estimated to be 26% at the national level.
  • Across the six countries, a total of 660,000 tonnes of PET bottles was landfilled or leaked into the environment in 2018. This represents a loss of material value of US$199 million.
  • The informal sector is the backbone of collection for PET bottles, contributing to 97% of all PET that is collected-for-recycling in the nine cities studied – and thus any solutions for Southeast Asia must include the informal sector.
  • The recommended systemic solution to drive circularity is the implementation of an industry-led PRO focused on boosting the value chain by implementing a price incentive that also benefits the informal sector, supporting policies, the use of recycled content in packaging, and investments into increasing domestic recycling capacity.
  • Similar models have seen success in comparable developing markets (South Africa and Mexico) which, through voluntary industry efforts, have increased PET collection and recycling rates to over 55% in each country. South Africa now has a 68% recycling rate for PET bottles, with 100% of the material recycled within South Africa.

Download the report today at

Follow Us

Subscribe Newsletter

Get our periodic news in your inbox!


Exclusive EcoKnights official merchandise powered by