Although Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world, it is the world’s second-largest contributor to plastic marine pollution after China. According to theconversation.com, Indonesia is responsible for 12% of the plastic that enters our oceans every year. This means that Indonesia emits around one million tons of plastic into our oceans every year.
As scary as that sounds, Indonesia seems to be on a mission to reduce its plastic pollution consumption and become greener.
In 2016, the government has planned to invest $1 billion into reducing its pollution consumption. Moreover, a number of NGOs, individuals and private and public organizations are already taking action and reducing plastic pollution in Indonesia. These initiatives range from education programs with children and teenagers, beach cleanups and advocating for better waste management.
During our descent down the Citarum River in Java, we were amazed to see so many local cleanup efforts. Although these were small, the people involved in these initiatives were so incredibly motivated.
Here are a few local individuals and organizations we met and interviewed:
This incredible group of Ibu-Ibu (Ladies) gather twice a week to sweep every corner of their neighborhood, making it the second cleanest neighborhood in Indonesia.
Mr. Sariban, the Indonesian trash hero who spends his retirement cleaning the streets of his hometown of Bandung.
The Trash Ghosts, they meet up night and day to clean up areas that no one dares to go to. Their mission is to get all sewers in Bandung trash-free.