Plastic pollution & solutions in Sulawesi

With more than 270 million people living on nearly a thousand inhabited islands, Indonesia faces critical challenges when it comes to waste management. Many parts of the country, especially islands and coastal areas like here in Sulawesi, don’t have any system of waste collection resulting in a large amount of mismanaged waste ending up in the ocean. Indonesia is one of the main contributor of plastic debris to the ocean.

In the few towns and cities that do have a collection system, landfilling is the norm. The Kendari landfill is said to apply some of the best practices in Indonesia, by covering the accumulated trash with a layer of soil every few days. No waste separation is organized by the city, and any targeted collection and recycling only happens thanks to trashpickers – known locally as pemulung – and small workshops. Due to the large amount of single-use plastics and packaging, the Kendari landfill nears saturation and a new landfill is already under way.

Grassroots waste management initiatives

The environmental NGO Naturevolution and its local partners organize cleanup events with foreign ecovolunteers and local communities in order to physically remove waste from coastal ecosystems and raise awareness on plastic pollution, all the while generating local dynamics within a wider strategy of marine conservation activities.

Among the projects supported by the NGO is the small enterprise of Setiawan Purnomo, a native of Java with more than a decade of experience in large recycling companies. Setiawan aims to bring local waste management one step further by performing the critical step of sorting plastic waste by type and shredding it into flakes, making it compact and valuable enough to be shipped to recycling industries in Surabaya.

Plastic waste & solutions | 2022 | Nature & Conservation | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)