The Circulate Initiative, a Singapore-based non-profit organisation that advocates against ocean plastic pollution, has appointed Annerieke Douma to oversee its strategic programmes across the region and support responsible sourcing practices in the plastics value chain.
Previously based in Amsterdam, Douma has been leading plastic waste management projects in Indonesia for the past year and is part of an expert group giving advice on the building of Nusantara – Indonesia’s new capital city.
Before her move, the industry veteran, who has over 15 years of experience in waste management, had served on the board of directors for Circle Economy. She also led partnerships and fundraising efforts for the Amsterdam-based impact organisation.
Douma said that living and working in Indonesia has given her the opportunity to witness how circular economy initiatives can achieve impact. One example was when she worked on a programme to improve waste collection and sorting on Ambon Island, the capital of the Maluku Islands in the east of Indonesia. Working with local partners, waste centres equipped with waste sorting conveyor belts were established. The initiative also looked at uplifting the livelihoods of informal waste workers.
“In emerging markets, particularly in South and Southeast Asia, informal waste workers are at the frontline of plastic waste recovery and recycling,” said Douma. “Their experience – shaped by marginalisation, a lack of social safety nets, vulnerability to human rights abuses and insufficient incomes – cannot be ignored in the broader pursuit of a circular economy for plastics.”
Douma said that ensuring responsible sourcing through the plastic supply chain will be an important area of work that she will be continuing in her new role as director of programmes at The Circulate Initiative. A new responsible sourcing programme will be launched by the organisation this year with a view to ensure fair remuneration, ethical labour practices and human rights for waste workers in emerging markets.
Douma also believes her current role on the Expert Committee of Indonesia’s Nusantara project will enable her to contribute meaningfully and ensure that circularity principles are adopted in setting up the future capital, which will be developed in stages until its completion in 2045.
Indonesia has said that it envisions its new capital to be a sustainable city.
The team expansion at The Circulate Initiative, which is funded by the likes of industry-backed Alliance to End Plastic Waste, also sees Madhushree Narayan being appointed as its responsible sourcing programme manager. Narayan will be based in India. She was previously director of climate and sustainability at innovation curation and venture development platform Socia Alpha, where she supported the scaling up of early-stage start-ups in India.
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