Environmentally friendly liquid soap led Cyntia Tan (Industrial Engineering, 2019), Angelique Lim (Chemical Engineering, 2019), and Crescencia Melissa (Chemical Engineering, 2019) won second place in the 2022 Indonesia Chemical Engineering Challenge (IChEC) Business Case competition. The Universitas Indonesia (UI) students participate under the Meliora Team banner, has developed an environmentally friendly liquid soap innovation with the base ingredients of coconut oil.
IchEC 2022 is a Southeast Asian level competition that has four types of competitions, namely plant design competitions, problem solving, business cases, and essays. There are 204 teams from 48 campuses in five Southeast Asian countries participating in this competition. The competition, which took place on November 1, 2021 – March 5, 2022, was organized by the Chemical Engineering Student Association (Himatek) of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).
The Meliora team took part in the Business Case category, by proposing products that could help their chosen company, to develop products and enter the market share for a particular product. “Our team chose one of the brands under PT Paragon, namely Wardah. Wardah is known as a beauty brand that is in demand by the people of Indonesia. The product we choose to market under Wardah is liquid bath soap. We propose Coco Go! This product is an eco-friendly liquid soap based on coconut oil,” said Crescencia, Meliora team leader.
Based on research, sales of toiletry products during the pandemic increased rapidly. However, the product’s linear life cycle has a detrimental effect on the environment. Liquid bath soaps generate the highest revenue in the body care industry. However, most of the liquid bath soaps on the market are formulated with ingredients that can easily irritate the skin and damage the environment.
“Bath soap formulas produced by the beauty industry generally have an impact on the environment and health. For example, the content of Sodium Laureth Sulfate as a surfactant can irritate sensitive skin and reduce 40% of the oxygen content when the product waste enters the water. Therefore, we bring a solution to overcome the problems that arise in the manufacture of these bath soaps. We replace the use of the Surfactant with coconut oil. Substitution of these raw materials can reduce environmental pollution from making bath soap,” said Cyntia explaining the advantages of Coco Go! products.
Coconut oil-based surfactants are more economical than commonly used products. The use of coconut oil can reduce production costs by 87%. In addition, the sustainable development of liquid bath soap is the key to PT Paragon’s circular economy.
Not only from basic materials that are more environmentally friendly, the Meliora Team also uses environmentally friendly packaging for Coco Go products! “We use packaging made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). The recycled rPET results in a lower carbon footprint than typical PET. So, Coco Go products! What we produce is truly environmentally friendly, from materials to packaging,” said Angelique.
For the achievements of UI students in the competition, the Dean of FTUI Prof. Dr. Heri Hermansyah, ST., M.Eng., IPU expressed his hope that more research products produced by FTUI researchers and students can be adopted by industry. “If you look at it, there are enough innovations made by the nation’s children, there needs to be encouragement, attention and full support from all parties to be able to continue to be developed in order to provide benefits to the community, nation and state,” said Prof. Harry.
Public Communication Bureau
Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia