Carlsberg Malaysia pilots CarlsBot in Sabah to strive for ZERO Packaging Waste and empower local communities via Ripple Sabah

KOTA KINABALU, 29 November 2022 – Staying true to its Purpose of Brewing for a Better Today and Tomorrow, Carlsberg Malaysia collaborated with Ripple (Sabah Recycling Association) to pilot-test a three-year glass bottle recycling and community empowerment programme named CarlsBot.  Committing towards its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda, the brewer has co-created a glass bottle ecosystem with Ripple to recycle its non-returnable glass bottles in Kota Kinabalu by empowering local communities to tackle waste and generate income from them.

Glass is one of the most difficult waste items to dispose of in Sabah. Unlike plastic and organic waste, there has not been much effort to find ways to turn glass into products that could generate income. As Sabahans recover from the socio-economic effects of the pandemic, Carlsberg Malaysia stepped up its investment on ESG, in addition to sales and marketing in Sabah, to make a difference to the lives and livelihoods of the local communities. The CarlsBot programme will address the mounting issue of disposal, collection and recycling of glass bottles in Kota Kinabalu through the three-year programme, which will take place from end 2022 to 2025.

The programme’s namesake takes cue from its famous flagship brand ‘Carlsberg’ – “Carls” while “Bot” refers to a “ro-bot” or machine that can crush glass “bot-tle”, hence the name “CarlsBot”. The CarlsBot machine can crush approximately 600kg of glass bottles in an hour, which is equivalent to 2,352 pints of Carlsberg glass bottles.

For year one, three CarlsBot machines will be made available in Kota Kinabalu at the Tanjung Aru Marine Ecosystem Center (TAME) and two community centres in Luyang and Kingfisher. These made-in-Sabah CarlsBot machines can generate income for Sabahans whilst reducing glass waste in the beautiful Land Below the Wind. The CarlsBot machine, brainchild of a native Sabahan inventor, Adrian Lasimbang of TONIBUNG (Friends of Village Development), was inspired by other glass bottles crushers in the market which he then improvised to provide a solution to the overflow of unrecycled glass bottles that end up in landfills.

With the crushed glass produced by CarlsBot in the forms of cullet, coarse sand and fine sand, Ripple provides the recycled materials to local communities and trains them with entrepreneurial, innovation, marketing and sales skills to repurpose the glass bottle waste into materials which can be used in various beneficial ways, for example to pave roads or be upcycled into handicrafts, furniture and even big ideas like 3D printed housing and Kota Kinabalu shoreline sand retention, while also generating additional income for local entrepreneurs and preserving the nature.

Tressie Yap, Chairperson of Ripple said at the launch of Project CarlsBot, “Because we believe very much that small actions lead to big changes, we are very proud and excited to collaborate with a reputable brewer like Carlsberg Malaysia who will provide us with the funding to operate, manage and monitor the CarlsBot programme, a three-year glass bottle ecosystem to effect changes with our network of NGOs and social enterprises including TAME, TONIBUNG, Siung Films, Upcycled Shack, Moyog Innovation House, PACOS Trust and One Ocean Empire on a local grassroots level that will consequently have much larger impacts on the lives of the communities in Kota Kinabalu and the environment of Sabah.”

Managing Director of Carlsberg Malaysia, Stefano Clini expressed gratitude for dedication and partnership with like-minded NGOs to handle the B2C glass bottle collection: “We are hopeful that with the support of Ripple, together with our distributors Kwong Hin (HK) Sdn. Bhd. and Bondestiny Sdn. Bhd. to handle the B2B glass bottle collection, Project CarlsBot will start on a strong footing to deliver a complete ecosystem. Upon the completion of this pilot programme, we hope that it will be in a solid position to deliver positive impact to the ecology and economy of the communities in Kota Kinabalu and other parts of the Borneo. Our target is to collect at least 30% of our products’ glass bottles in Kota Kinabalu.”

“Despite the investment, partnership and commitment by all parties, it is no easy feat to drive mindset and behaviour change around glass bottle waste. We invite all of you, who are passionate about the People, Planet and Prosperity of Sabah to pledge support for CarlsBot that is made by a Sabahan, for Sabahans in Sabah. You can bring any bottles, not just Carlsberg bottles, to TAME as well as to Luyang and Kingfisher Community Halls and make our target of zero glass bottle waste a success by ‘Crushing It One Bottle at a Time’!” he concluded.

Carlsberg Malaysia recently launched its ‘Together towards ZERO and Beyond’ ESG programme which includes a wider array of ESG priorities. It focuses on achieving six ambitions, which are categorised into ZERO Carbon Footprint, ZERO Farming Footprint, ZERO Packaging Waste, ZERO Water Waste, ZERO Irresponsible Drinking and ZERO Accidents Culture. These priorities support the brewer’s transformation towards more sustainable business practices and reaffirm its commitment to the collective action needed on the ESG areas that matter the most towards its purpose of ‘Brewing for a Better Today and Tomorrow’.


If you represent the media - print, online, radio or tv - please address enquiries concerning Carlsberg Group to:

Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Senior Manager

Immy Ooi

Tel 03-5522 6431 Email [email protected]
Photo 1

Guests at the Media Launch of Project Carlsbot which was held at Tanjung Aru Marine Ecosystem Center (TAME Center) which is the first collection point for glass bottles under Project CarlsBot.

Photo 2

The Panel Discussion on Project CarlsBot taking place between (from left) Tressie Yap, Chairperson of Ripple Sabah; Leong Tze Fui, Solid Waste Management Department Director of Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (DBKK); Pearl Lai, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director of Carlsberg Malaysia and Stefano Clini, Managing Director of Carlsberg Malaysia, moderated by Amy Dangin.

Photo 3

The CarlsBot machine built by the TONIBUNG Crew pictured here on the right.

Photo 4

Carlsberg Malaysia's MD Stefano Clini and Ripple Sabah's Chairperson, Tressie Yap pouring crushed Carlsberg glass bottles into the lightbox signage to signify the launch of Project CarlsBot.

Photo 5

Group Photo (from left): Aylmer Wee, Carlsberg Malaysia's Regional Sales Manager, East Malaysia; Olga Pulyaeva, Carlsberg Malaysia's Marketing Director; Vivian Gun, Carlsberg Malaysia’s Chief Financial Officer; Stefano Clini, Carlsberg Malaysia’s Managing Director; Pearl Lai, Carlsberg Malaysia's Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director; Jo-Anne Chung, Kwong Hin (HK) Sdn Bhd's Account Manager; and Ting Sieng Chuong, Bondestiny Sdn Bhd’s Managing Director.

Photo 6

Carlsberg Malaysia's MD Stefano Clini giving his official address at the launch of Project CarlsBot in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Photo 7

Carlsberg Malaysia's MD Stefano Clini launching Project CarlsBot in Sabah.

Photo 8

Some of the beautiful products made of crushed glass by Upcycled Shack. Photo credit: Siung Films.