Local trade groups form an alliance to push up recycling rates across the country / Southeast Asian nation is one of the largest producers of plastic waste / Mass cleanup
Two groups dedicated to reducing plastic waste pollution in Indonesia have teamed up with the aim of increasing recycling rates to 30% by 2025, the current rate being at about 10%. The Indonesia Plastic Recycling Association (ADUPI, Tangerang, Banten / Indonesia; and the Indonesian Waste Platform (IWP, Indonesia; have joined forces to tackle the flow of plastic waste which relentlessly finds its way into the seas that surround the island.

With a population of 267m and Southeast Asia’s largest economy, Indonesia is one of the largest generators of plastic waste in the world. In 2014 it was estimated the country produced 3.2m t of waste plastic, with around 40% of that, 1.3m t, ending up in the ocean. And as the country’s economy develops, experts and environmentalists fear this figure will increase significantly.

Reducing waste is one tactic, with the Indonesian government pledging a few years ago to reduce plastic waste by a fifth. But now two of the country’s plastics recycling groups have banded together to tackle the problem from the opposite end of the usage chain.

In a statement, the associations, which both formed three years ago, said: “Through intensive communications the two networks established a strong collaboration, identifying potential stakeholder groups across the country who could collaborate on establishing local collection systems and guiding them on developing viable business models for collection. ADUPI and IWP strive for producer commitment to engage in improving recyclability of packaging design.” The statement did not give any further details as to how the increase in recycling rates would be achieved, and one of the problems facing the duo’s ambitious goal of hiking them up is the torrid state of Indonesia’s collection system. Unlike neighbouring Singapore and, further afield, Thailand, Indonesia has very little on the way of household collections, instead relying on collection and sorting by hand of post-consumer plastic materials from domestic rubbish.
Government campaigns to raise environmental awareness
Local campaigns have sought to minimise the impact of waste being strewn across the country’s towns, countryside and beaches, with communities being encouraged through education initiatives to collect and sort material at source, overseen by community authorities. National campaigns are doing their part as well: Just last month, on 19 August 2018, the government hosted a one-day event that saw some 20,000 citizens take part in a massive cleanup of plastic trash in rivers and oceans across the country. The purpose of this event was to engange the public, particularly young people, and raise awareness about the alarming amounts of plastic waste in the ocean.

In 2017, as part of its efforts to stem the tide of plastic waste making its way into the ocean, the Indonesian authorities launched the National Marine Debris Action Plan (NMDAP). The plan was designed to focus on the importance of control and awareness of handling plastic waste, cut plastic waste in coastal areas – beaches and nearby areas, as well as the seas – and lower the amount of plastic getting into the oceans by up to 80%.

The NMDAP has three core aims: Coordination between institutions responsible for waste management; the application of technology to control plastic debris, including the use of science-based management, and what the plan described as highlighting the “significant importance of societal efforts to reduce, recycle and reuse plastic debris,” to be promoted to Indonesians from an early age.
11.09.2018 [240612-0]
Published on 11.09.2018

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