Indonesia currently produces 6.8 million tons of plastic waste per year, with only about 10% of it ending up in recycling centers. Only 2% of this collected plastic waste can be recycled effectively, 14% of the plastic waste is burned, while 4% ends up in landfills. About 625,000 tons of annual plastic waste ends up in the oceans.

What are Plastics?

Plastics come from industrial manufacturing of natural raw materials such as crude oil, cellulose, and coal, with chemical additives. Plastics can be softened and printed at high temperatures using a variety of manufacturing processes. Plastics are waterproof, lightweight, easy to form and flexible. Plastics are classified in seven categories: PET (mostly used as bottle drink), HDPE (used in shampoo bottle), PVC (used in water pipes), LDPE (mostly used as bags), PP (mostly used in food containers), PS (mostly used in plastic tools, and plastic cups and Other Types of Plastics, which is a mixture between two or more types of plastics, this type is multipurpose. 

Plastic Waste in Indonesia

The vast majority of plastics in Indonesia are disposed of in non-environmentally friendly ways, resulting in overextended landfills, polluted oceans, and ecological damages. Due to the lack of knowledge about waste management, most Indonesian households don’t separate their waste. Recycling takes more effort as the waste is mixed, while sorting is the key to recycling. Plastic recycling is critical to improving the environment and bettering waste management solutions. The ‘pemulung’ or waste pickers also play a critical role in municipal solid waste management and contribute to a large trade in the recycling of waste products.

What can you do?

Shifting the mindset towards sustainability initiatives is essential in order to change for the better. You can start by separating the waste from your household or company. If you are interested to learn more about waste separation, R.O.L.E. Foundation offers a ZeroWaste Specialist Training. Register yourself or your company, click the link here