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Co-Op Kampong: Kampong as Collective Enterprise

to initiate co-operative (co-consumptive and co-productive) zero waste communities that are conscious about where and how they get source

Photo of Adi Wibowo
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Waste is not the problem. We consider waste as an indicator that shows the wretchedness of linear economic model. The linear model does not only end up creating waste but also coerce consumers to take responsibility for them. Meanwhile there are not a few producers keep producing with lack of consideration in environment. To discontinue this system, we think imagining and aiming a city that is sustainably taken care of by all of its inhabitants are crucial.

We have challenged people and ourselves to be more eco-conscious: to live less or zero waste life since 2015. We created a project called “Kota Tanpa Sampah”—“A Zero Waste City”. The strategies are to reduce waste from pre-consumption, to use source or consume as minimal as possible, and to not carelessly throw anything and consider it as waste. Not only we reduce, reuse, and recycle our waste but we also produce knowledge by having discussions and sharing our obstacles and advantages that we face. From this challenge, we know that we are able to reduce our waste up to 95%. Nonetheless, our main problem is in the 5% gap—material that cannot be reused or recycled: small plastic packaging.

How, then, can we stop generating plastic waste? Our next action is Co-op Kampong. It is a movement to initiate co-operative (co-consumptive and co-productive) zero waste communities that are conscious about where and how they get source, produce and consume it without giving negative impact to environment.

We divide our action into five phases:

  1. Co-produce knowledge as a capital to develop pioneers of Co-Op Kampong
    As we have previously described, we consider waste as an indicator of linear economic model’s vulnerability since it indicates pollution and quality degradation in our environment. The challenge is how to invite people in the kampong to understand our perspective. In this phase we already challenged them via Kota Tanpa Sampah project by asking, “can we live a week or two without producing waste?”.In this project household is people’s micro cosmos and laboratory. In other words they are flexible to do experiment. After the experiment, all of the participants share their knowledge to each other. As the collective knowledge is produced, the sharing session becomes the embryo of Co-Op Kampong’s network.

  2. Consumers become prosumers
    At the second phase we will do social experiments to challenge a kampong to produce what they consume without generating waste. The goal is to boost their awareness about source around them and increase their willingness to eco-consciously explore it. We also encourage them to use long-lasting containers and avoid using sachet products. This phase also contains these steps:
    -Bring the source near
    We will enhance pioneer's and our knowledge about how to produce our own sources. We will do workshops and discussions about how to grow and cook the source. By getting knowledge about it we can produce source without plastic packaging that is possible to be waste. 
    -Map the daily needs. 
    After people in the kampong aware about what they have in producing their need, the next step is to map their daily needs. By doing this we will know what they necessarily need and their source limitation so they can imagine or create methods to consume it sufficiently or with zero waste.
    -Grow resources. 
    As people know about the source limitation, they need to scale-up by searching and building relation to other people, community or kampong that can offer what they need. Our role as an initiator is to help them to meet each other and to create co-operative relation.

  3. Co-operate: co-produce and co-consume
    The most essential phase of this movement is enhancing co-operation networks in the kampong. We will give triggers (challenges or experiments) to boost co-production and co-consumption in the kampong. We expect people to share their common needs and goals and to collaborate in achieving them.

  4. Economic Models. 
    Warung or small home-shops/vendors will be the center of their sources. In this phase, using multifunctional containers to replace plastic packaging and refilling products that they need are easier since everyone share collective knowledge about the importance of implementing zero waste life.

  5. Scale Up. 
    What community couldn't produce should be got from other communities. This opened connection brings up opportunity to scale up this initiative. The connection between community also run as co-ops model. So, the connection will be social, cultural, and also economical. It will redefine the structure of the city: Kota Tanpa Sampah (a zero waste future).

    Currently we are in stage 3 heading to stage 4.

Idea Title

Co-Op Kampong: Kampong as Collective Enterprise

Company / Organization Name


Website FB Page: kota tanpa sampah IG account : kotatanpasampah FB Page: LabTanya

Where are you / your team located?

Indonesia, South Tangerang

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

This idea will redesign the economic model, from linear to circular, by implementing co-operative networks. Kampong will be a collective enterprise that belong to everyone. People will contain or refill their needs with multifunctional containers with common goals: zero waste. With this system small format plastic items will not be required.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

We think single-use sachet for liquid consumer products represent most cases we have met in our projects.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

Kampong in Greater Jakarta

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

There are no needs that can be fulfilled by one single person or even a community. A kampong will eventually need another kampong to get their needs. In other words, Co-op Kampong will naturally scale up. Nonetheless, the biggest obstacle for Co-op Kampung to scale up is inaccessible and long-process regulation. We may overcome it with advocacy to related bureaucracy that has capacity to restructure the regulation. We will offer future economic prospects in kampong that is his economic crisis.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.
  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing idea through these tests.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

We will become a Top Idea because of our idea's contextuality and flexibility. Although our main goal is firm we are open in applying the methods to achieve it. From what we have experienced, ideas often come from the participants. It is prime to acknowledge what they have been through so we can create relevant solution. We are sure that working with the program will accelerate our solution since it will create opportunity to expand our networking and enhance our perspectives.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Our idea emerged from our initiative urban projects in 2015. One of them is Kota Tanpa Sampah which then grows to be a movement.

Tell us about your work experience

Included in Urbanisme Warga (Citizen Urbanism) Platform with activists from 9 cities, selected for: many exhibition overseas, Arts Collaboratory Project held by HIVOS International and DOEN Foundation

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

LABTANYA is Research Dept. of ADHI WISWAKARMA DESANTARA Inc. (Architectural Design Studio) established on December 2009


Join the conversation:

Photo of Rieta Aliredjo

Bagus sekali ideanya! I love this is a people centered initiative. If we all are more conscious about how we behave we can face and solve for any challenge. Succes!

Photo of Adi Wibowo

Terima kasih mbak.
As architect once we believed that design and make great building could help build great city.
Now, we always brings this preposition in our practice: What if design isn't always about making buildings or things? People then back to the center of the process and also progress of the design. People as the center of the great city.

Photo of Rieta Aliredjo

Yes, building cohesive communities is very much a collaborative design practice too!

Photo of Keith Riggs

It is great to see your project which is real and engages a whole community. As is often the case it is the women who are the quiet movers to bring wholistic solutions. I would love to see your movement happen everywhere. It is so clear and what we envision in the grass roots part of our CUP project. Let's make this go global! Thanks for contributing!

Photo of Adi Wibowo

Thanks Keith!
Women indeed are the best. We believe that women are the truly supporters of our structure of civilization.
Keith, we also interested in your CUP project. We think we could make a further conversation and connection.