Gresik, March 25, 2021
Dear Mr. Joe Biden
The President of the United States of America
Dear Mr. President Joe Biden,
My name is Aeshnina Azzahra, 14 years old, I live in Wringinanom Village Gresik. I am co-captain of River Warrior, a youth community group that wish to have clean river and healthy environment in Indonesia. In July 2019, I sent a letter to President Donald Trump, asking USA to stop plastic waste exports to Indonesia, but until now USA still sends plastic trash to Indonesia. Recently I read in the news that USA send plastic waste to Belawan Harbour in Medan, and Indonesian government is investigating the containers its illegal for USA as non member of Basel Convention to export plastic waste to country members of Basel Convention.
Some paper factories import paper waste from USA as raw material, but those paper bales contain dirty plastics and multilayer packs which cannot be recycled. I read that USA is no.1 exporter of paper waste to Indonesia and US exports on paper waste in 201 increased 6 times higher than 2017, that brought more dirty plastics. I ask you to stop export plastic waste to Indonesia and to recycle plastic waste in your own country, because your trash is not properly treated in a safe way here. People collect plastics to earn money by selling it to plastic recycling company, but some nonrecyclable plastics were burnt or dumped on villages or along the riverbank, make it look dirty and messy. Some people use plastic scrap as fuel to cook soybean for making tofu that release toxic ashes and dioxin to environment.
I am writing to ask for your kindness, help me to save my environment from plastic pollution. USA should not add plastic waste problem to my country. Even though plastic waste can be recycled, the sorting process is very complicated and will add more environmental pollution. Most of plastic waste processing are done by small home business that don’t have wastewater treatment facility, and unrecyclable plastics is treated by open burning. Plastic recycling and burning will release dioxin and microplastic particles that will contaminate our food chain. If we eat microplastics, our health will be in danger because microplastic contained toxic chemical additives.
Plastic crisis is a global problem and USA is the biggest plastic producer in the world. People produce too much plastics waste but only less than 9% is being recycled. Plastics are made from oil and contain toxic additives that will harm our health and the climate. I ask your help to save the world from plastic crisis and break free from plastic. Let’s stop eating plastics, reduce plastic production, ban single use plastics and recycle your own waste. USA should join other countries as party of Basel Convention, to prevent dirty and nonrecyclable plastic waste trade from rich country to pollute environment in developing countries. As a rich and super power country, USA has more ability than Indonesia to treat waste. I ask you to stop export plastic waste to Indonesia and recycle plastic waste in your own country.
Please do not pollute my country, help all children to have a clean and healthy world!
AESHNINA AZZAHRA (River Warrior)