By 2050 it's predicted that there will be more trash in our ocean than fish. Is this true?
Unfortunately, we believe it is. And that's why this summer we set out to kayak down one of the world's most polluted rivers in the world, the Citarum River, located in Indonesia. We wanted to raise awareness on the effects of plastic pollution.
But where does all this trash come from? 80% of it comes from our rivers and streams or other land-based sources. And it's entirely our fault... A lot of environmentalists and activists are working with scientists and engineers to figure out ways to pickup the trash that's already in our oceans. A few of them have succeeded but it takes them time and money. Meanwhile, tons and tons of plastic trash will have found its way to the ocean. So why not start where it's easiest and cheapest to pickup... Our rivers!
In our expedition, we wanted to metaphorically show with our plastic-bottle kayaks, that a plastic bottle going downstream will eventually reach our oceans. We saw millions of single-use plastic items on the Citarum, which will all eventually end up in the ocean. All of which could have easily been picked up and disposed of more sensibly.
This is why we are so proud of our project. After releasing the videos of our descent, the Indonesian government responded! After meeting with the Director of Waste Management under the Ministry of the Environment of Indonesia (KLH), they announced a 2-year plan to clean up the Citarum River after watching our videos. The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and a Fisheries also declared the Citarum River as a "state of emergency" and as of last week, have announced the cleanup will begin in 8 months.
This is just the beginning in terms of ensuring that they fully commit to their plan, but if it goes through and the Citarum becomes trash free... It would be one less river to worry about.