Two of Indonesia’s leading environmental NGOs have announced a partnership to address the problem of plastic waste in Bali. Waste4Change and ecoBali have come together to make a tangible impact on the issue of plastic waste in Bali and across Indonesia.
The situation has come to the public’s attention once again in recent weeks as plastic waste was washed up by the tonne on Kuta Beach due to changing tides. Other plastic waste piles contributed to the flash flooding experienced around Bali late last month as waterways became more severely blocked.
The partnership was announced at the Road to G20: Beating Plastic Pollution from Source to Sea event held by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment with the National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP).
The event was attended by Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan who is the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Tuti Hadiputranto, the Chairwoman for NPAP, Mohamad Bijaksana Junerosano, the Director of Waste4Change, and I Ketut Mertaadi, the Director of ecoBali.
Both ecoBali and Waste4Change have been pioneering innovative waste management solutions in Bali for nearly ten years with a massive amount of success. However, the problem is still visible and, in some places worsening.
Though the odds have seldom been in their favor, together with the Bali Provincial government and local communities, the organizations have helped shift the waste management systems across the island. They have focused on improving the amount of useable material recovery by establishing their own Material Recovery Facility, which has increased recycling rates. They have also created waste banks and worked with businesses and communities to better manage waste.
Mertaadi told reporters, ‘Combining ecoBali and Waste4Change were done because we felt it was time for us, the two pioneers of responsible waste management in Indonesia, to join forces and provide better waste management services to all corners of the country’.
‘After this, ecoBali will continue to focus on providing responsible waste management services in Bali, and Waste4Change will move to support zero waste initiatives on a national scale. We really hope that Waste4Change and ecoBali can help support the government’s sustainability goals going forward’.
The issue of plastic waste and pollution in Bali is undeniable. Though the island is famous for pristine white sand beaches and untouched jungles, the reality in places is very different. The waste management system across the island was not developed at the same pace as tourism and other social infrastructure leading to the issues the island faces today. Problems that cause distress to local residents and visitors.
Bali is the eighth largest waste-producing province in all of Indonesia, much of which can be attributed to tourism. In total, Indonesia produces 6.8 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. It has to contend with importing waste from richer nations in the global north that ship their recycling to countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines for cheaper processing and to help hit their national targets.
As part of the new partnership, waste management capacities in Bali will be improved over the next few years. Junerosano said ‘to support NPAP’s mission, Waste4Change will invest in increasing its waste management capacity to 5,500 tons per year of plastic waste. Waste4Change is committed to expanding its reach and increasing its waste management capacity to 2,000 tons per day in the next five years’.
‘The right solution for managing plastic waste that Waste4Change offers is through the Waste Credit service. Moreover, by joining ecoBali, we are increasingly positive that we will be able to make a good impact on the environment together’.
Waste4Change has created a Waste Credit system that incentives households, communities, and businesses to reduce plastic waste and manage all in-organic waste more effectively. The new private partnership will go a long way in impacting the issue of plastic waste pollution across Bali. In October, Bali’s most popular beaches received an onslaught of plastic pollution onto the shoreline. Yet Bali’s Deputy Governor, Tjokorda Oka Arta Ardhana Sukawati, called on communities to do more to reduce their waste.
Many of the changes have come about, for better or worse, as a result of Governor Koster’s commitment to closing all of Bali’s landfills by the end of the year. He is moving the island to an ambitious Reuse, Reduce, Recycle Waste Disposal Facilities (TPS3R) and Integrated Waste Disposal Facilities (TPST).
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