Bali, Indonesia – Indonesia, the world’s second-largest contributor of plastic waste in the oceans, is trying to stem the tidal wave of hydrocarbon pollution that many see as a global crisis. Solutions are coming from unexpected corners, pointing to the need for a collective response in the face of a fast-worsening problem, says Indonesia Conservation Communication Forum (FKKI).
“We dump the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic into our ocean every minute – and that plastic is entering the food chain. The sheer scale of the problem calls for a broad range of ways to solve it. Not only government regulations and corporate action to reduce the production of plastics (and especially single-use plastics), but also community-based efforts and consumer education,” says Leonard Simanjuntak, head of Greenpeace Indonesia (one of the member organizations of FKKI) at the Our Ocean Conference 2018 in Bali, Indonesia. The series of conferences focus on generating commitments and taking actions to protect oceans.
Marine pollution is one of the areas of focus of FKKI. During a FKKI-organized Ocean Talk at the conference, experts revealed the unaccounted cost of plastics, debunking “false” solutions to deal with their impact in Indonesia, and outlining solutions to curb the tidal wave of single-use plastics that kill and maim marine life.
“The government cannot do it alone when it comes to plastics. Through FKKI, a collaborative platform that leverages the combined strengths of leading local and international environmental organizations to deliver conservation impact in Indonesia at scale, we are ready to pull out all the stops to support the Government of Indonesia deliver on its commitment to reduce marine debris by 70 per cent by 2025,” adds Tjokorda Nirarta “Koni” Samadhi, Director of World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia .
The approach to reach this goal is outlined in the Indonesian government’s National Action Plan on Marine Debris, which notes that improving municipal solid waste in coastal areas could reduce leakage to the ocean by as much as 80 per cent. According to Mr Simanjuntak, what is also key is to reduce the amount of single-use plastic that is produced, especially by fast-moving consumer goods companies.
On the sidelines of the Our Ocean Conference, a momentous commitment was made by leading brands such as PepsiCo, Danone, and Unilever to fund efforts to prevent ocean plastic. A combined US$90 million will be invested in Circulate Capital, an investment management firm dedicated to incubating and financing companies and infrastructure that prevent ocean plastic.
The Our Ocean Conference unfolds in a context of growing awareness about the nefarious impacts of plastic waste on the environment, with a slew of financial and other commitments being made to address the issue. At the conference, a global commitment to eradicate plastic waste and pollution at the source has been signed by 250 organisations including many of the world’s largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and NGOs. Earlier this month, the government of Norway committed US$200 million to fight plastic, while the European Union announced its plans to phase out single-use plastics by 2021.
For further information:
Mr Jaka Setia , Communications Manager, The Nature Conservancy Indonesia Programme, cell: +62 (0) 811 828 5264, firstname.lastname@example.org