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Bike Lady and Local Store Refillable Consumer Products Centers

Refillable consumer products at local store or door to door delivery by a lady with her bike.

Photo of Kumala Susanto
27 12

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Indonesia has more 27.77 million of under poverty population from around 270 million population in 2017 ( Family living at poverty can not afford to buy their daily needs in bulk, including detergent. Instead, they will buy single-use sachet everyday at the local grocery shop. Their average use of detergent (based on early random personal survey in two village at East Java and Banten Province) is 1 sachets per day. This consumption leads to 5.5 million single-use sachet waste per day or about 2 billion per year (with the assumption of 5 person per family). This huge amount of waste have not included the waste from the slightly above poverty and middle income families which also always buy their detergent in single-use sachet because they want to limit their usage (for middle income family: their helpers usually use a high amount of detergent if they give them in bulk).

This consumption leads to 5.5 million single-use sachet waste per day or about 2 billion per year.

We have to tackle this issue before our landfill and ocean (yes, you'll find many sachet garbage in the coastline near the populous area) are seriously hard to be cleaned and way more expensive. The saddest impact would be that we are one of the reason of many killed ocean beings just for having our clothes cleaned everyday. That's very shame of us.

I have the idea to lessen the usage of single-use sachet detergent (powder and liquid) by redesigning the delivery system. If until now, poor families buy single-use sachet detergent everyday at the local grocery store, then in the future the local grocery store will sell refillable (single-use) detergent to these families. The refill will be delivered by our "Lady Bike Cleaning Specialist". The Lady will also sell the detergent door to door with the same price as sold at local grocery store. So everyone who missed the Lady Bike schedule will buy the refill at the local grocery store.

The refill will be delivered by our "Lady Bike Cleaning Specialist". 

Lady Bike system is a modification of Lady Yakult in Indonesia or Lady Grameen-Danone in Bangladesh who sell ready to drink Yakult/yogurt door to door. Another example in Indonesia, we've seen so many door to door refill businesses in villages and urban slums such as for crackers, traditional cakes, bread, etc. There is also door to door services such as fixing clothes and shoes. So this door to door delivery system has been implemented in food and services small industries. Nevertheless, we'll have to see if there's same chance for consumer products such as detergent (maybe later: shampoo, soaps, etc).

we'll have to see if there's same chance for consumer products such as detergent (maybe later: shampoo, soaps, etc)

Beside its impact to the environment, Lady Bike will help unemployed lady in village and urban slum areas to have added revenue. They needn't have to work full time, only around 3-6 hours a day to deliver the detergent, then the rest of the day they can take care of their children and household as usual.

Lady Bike will help unemployed lady in village and urban slum areas to have added revenue.

In the first phase of my idea, I will start to prototyping and piloting at Sambikerep District, Surabaya City, East Java Province. After some refinement of the program, I will leverage the reach of the business to Surabaya City, Gresik City, and Sidoarjo City. And if the model has been validated in those three cities, I'll move to make nationwide impact while do research to replicate the system in another country by their own local resources.

Idea Title

Bike Lady and Refill Centers

Company / Organization Name




Where are you / your team located?

Sambikerep District, Surabaya City, East Java Province, Indonesia

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

The consumers will buy the refill of detergent using their own container of buy one time only reusable container from our door to door Bike Lady or participating local store. Following on the program, we'll conduct some marketing campaigns to encourage them to use the reusable bottle. We will also partner with Family Welfare movement (PKK)/housewives community at local level.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Single-use sachet for consumer products.

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

Prototype: 3 District at East Java Province, Indonesia Pilot: Surabaya City, Gresik City, and Sidoarjo City, East Java Province Upscale: Nationwide and global replication.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

My idea early adopters are the Bike Lady, local stores, and the Villagers. The challenges would be that they are not adapt on the new habit we want them to have that is bringing their own container to buy detergent. There will also be challenged by local grocery store who will give the customers option of using single-use plastic if they forget to bring the container.

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.

New Plastics Economy Accelerator Program will support us with networks of people who have interest in circular design and human centered approach, and other resources needed during the iteration process to reach the value fit services and the scaling up process of the system. I think the support that the program has given during refinement phase is the evidence of the program seriousness to support ideas. I am eager to work further with the program to reduce a massive amount of plastic waste.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Lady Yakult gave me the inspiration and I also saw some "rombeng" (a term for woman in my neighbourhood who collect recyclable goods such as broken plastic gallons for a life using their bike) earning a very small amount of money for living. My idea also arose from having conversation with my mother (she owns local grocery store), some other local grocery store's owners, and some people who usually use single-use sachet detergents in my living village (considered as urban slum also).

Tell us about your work experience

Customer servicing, selling door to door EDC machine (and also lead 24 sales person) to B2B financial system, business development, and now as social entrepreneurship coordinator at university.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure


Please describe, in detail, your business model and how you intend to test and iterate this model.

There are 5 key stakeholders that we found would play a big role in this challenge. They are the customers (we focus on villagers), local stores, bike ladies, Housewives at Family Welfare Movement (PKK), and detergent manufacturers. What we are trying to do with this design is to exchange values that the our main customers (villagers, bike ladies, and local stores) curently experience with the new value that the refillable system would deliver. I attach a user experience (villagers) map

Please explain how your innovation will work within, potentially improve, and provide benefit to the plastics system.

We will significantly reduce plastic waste that arise from single use plastic consumer products, specifically detergent. Both upstream and downstream delivery system require no disposable plastic at all. We also release a very small carbon footprint by using traditional vehicles in our downstream distribution system.

Please describe, in depth, how your solution will reduce the overall environmental footprint of packaging.

Please outline how your design, material, and delivery choices will influence price, and how you intend to address the price increase that may result from this solution.

Our cost for delivering products is very effective because we use non sophisticated but effective design to deliver our products. Compared to competitors, we are more cost efficient.

Please explain how your solution will impact user behavior, and what design considerations you've included to ensure easy and intuitive interactions with your Idea. 

We actually lessened their experience flow on detergent. Current flow: go to local stores > ask for detergent >seller cut the sachets and put it in plastic bag > carry it home > tear the sachet (sometimes they use teeth)> clean laundry > throw waste in plastic waste bag > carry the waste bag to the burn place > burn waste. Our proposed flow: take reusable box >go to store>ask for detergent>seller measure detergent and put in the box>bring it home>open the container lid>clean laundry>store

Please describe how you intend to use the prize funding, if selected as a Top Idea. Be specific.

We will use it to iterate the design so we can give value fit to all of our key stakeholders. Ater that, we will use it to Pilot the system. After succeeding with our pilot, we will use the remaining prize funding to establish a startup.


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Photo of Landry Mulinganya

Congratulations !!!

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