Stemming the Flow of Indonesia's Plastic Pollution
A curved boom, known as Interceptor 001, traps rubbish floating along a drainage canal in North Jakarta. Discarded plastic bottles, food packaging and other debris are scooped up and moved along a conveyor belt into a boat. Once sod, the plastics will be recycled. The trial has been a success, triggering plans to deploy more Interceptors nationally. The project is a partnership between the Indonesian and Dutch governments and Dutch non-profit the Ocean Cleanup. It forms a small part of Indonesia’s mission, set in 2017, to reduce by 70% the amount of plastic entering the ocean from its coastline by 2025. After three years of trials, an announcement was made at last November’s G20 summit in Bali that Interceptors will be rolled out across Indonesia. Lambert Grijns, Indonesian ambassador for the Netherlands, said in a press release: “Despite the scale of the plastic challenge, the endorsement of these innovative solutions and partnerships gives me hope that we can work together to finally solve this problem for the benefit of all.” The first phase of the project was mainly aimed at collecting data, to aid river plastic waste solutions and waste management, explained M. Saleh Nugrahadi, deputy assistant of river management and natural resources conservation at Indonesia’s maritime ministry. That data showed that 30 to 40% of river waste is plastic or non-organic, and that the volume of plastic fluctuates, with more trapped in the rainy season than in the dry.