Jakarta (11/7). In Indonesia, plastic waste is not only a problem in the land area, but also has spread into the ocean area. Even the research conducted by Dr. Jenna Jambeck in 2015, placed Indonesia as the second largest country in the world to dump plastic waste into the ocean. This is certainly not a good ‘achievement’. Other than polluting the environment, this also pollutes Indonesia’s reputation in the eyes of the world.
The danger of plastic pollution is very alarming. We often see news of marine animals accidentally eating plastic, plastic straws in turtle’s nose or plastic bags inside whale’s belly in Wakatobi up to 5.9 kg of plastic. Aside from marine ecosystems that are threatened because of plastic, humans are too. The findings, carried out by researchers at the Medical University of Vienna last year, for the first time found that microplastics were already in human body.
Seeing these facts, there needs to be a joint movement as an effort to reduce plastic waste so that by 2025 we can reduce plastic waste by 70 percent, complies with the national target to reduce plastic waste in the ocean.
“The government and the private sector must be at the forefront to ensure that Indonesia is free of plastic waste. The single-use plastics ban must not be postponed anymore while plastic waste that already exists must be managed properly. The community will help the government to ensure that Indonesia is free of plastic waste,” said Bustar Maitar, from Pandu Laut Indonesia.
Pawai Bebas Plastik (Plastic-Free March) is the biggest joint movement and action in Indonesia, which invites public to show their commitment to refuse single-use plastics which will be held on Sunday, 21st of July 2019 at Bundaran HI and Lapangan Aspirasi Monas. The agenda of this event is the March, Oration, Flash Mob, Plastic Monster and Musical Performance.
The march aims to invite public to declare the commitments they will carry out in their daily lives, such as refusing the use of single-use plastics, refusing plastic straws, choosing bulk rather than sachets, sorting out garbage at home, and cleaning up recyclable plastic waste before throwing them away.
In addition to individual commitments, the march also aims to unite the voices of the community in urging three things:
Government to ban single-use plastics:
(namely plastic bags, plastic straws, Styrofoam, sachet and microbeads) to be applicable nationally
Government to improve waste management system such as:
Enforcing waste separation system from the source to end processSupporting production of local packaging which are pro-environment, pro-local wisdom, and plastic free
Producers and corporations to be responsible of their waste by:
Taking back their packaging waste that they produceInnovating in redesigning plastic packaging to be reusable and recyclableInnovating in product delivery system so not being dependable on single-use plastics anymore
“We see an increase in awareness from the public in general about the danger of single-use plastics, such as for example they refuse to use plastic bags when shopping. We want to accommodate the voices of those who want some changes not only in their daily lives, but changes at a greater level. This march is a community movement to demand the single-use plastics, “said Maritta Rastuti, Executive Director of Indorelawan.
The Plastic-Free March is a series of campaigns conducted by Robi Navicula, a musician who is also an environmental activist, to tell the importance of controlling single-use plastics.
“Through this march, we want to say that it is important for all of us to begin to stop consumption of single-use plastics that are proven have negative impacts on the environment, including humans,” said Robi Navicula. “Nowadays, Indonesia is like a full bucket, where the water is spilling out everywhere. The faucet that is open above the bucket is like the production of single-use plastics that keeps pouring into the bucket. All this time we are like mopping up spilled water, by doing activities such as beach clean-up, recycling, etc. This “mopping” activity still needs to be done, but together with that, a reasonable action is to close the tap,” he added.
Indonesia’s efforts to control plastic waste began simultaneously in 2016, when trials for the implementation of plastic bags were not free at modern retail outlets in 27 major cities. This was followed by regulations to ban the use of plastic bags in several areas, such as Banjarmasin, Balikpapan, Bogor, Denpasar, Bali Province, and many more.
“This march is also a celebration of the Supreme Court’s ruling which states that the Local Government has the authority to ban disposable plastics such as plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam. This is a victory not only for Bali which is the target of a judicial review at the Supreme Court, but also an affirmation for all regions including Jakarta which is currently planning to ban single-use plastics,” said Tiza Mafira, Executive Director of Gerakan Indonesia Diet Kantong Plastik.
The march is expected to encourage everyone to start taking concrete actions to reduce the use of single-use plastics and each region to do the same thing as regions that have already made efforts to ban single-use plastics.