In Indonesia, our fight against waste starts on land!
17 October 2022
In September, two members of The SeaCleaners team, Alice DARONDEAU and Antoine ICHE, respectively an environmental engineer in our Operations Department and a development engineer at Manta Innovation, were in Indonesia for an intense exploratory “listen and learn” mission. At the end of these 4 weeks in the field, we are proud to announce the launch of two brand new projects, in partnership with local associations long involved in environmental protection in the Bali region.
These two projects aim to improve waste management on land on the island of Gili Trawagan and in the rural area of Amed, in order to significantly reduce the amount of litter that is likely to end up in the Java Sea and in the ocean.
Our projects on the island of Gili Trawagan
The island of Gili Trawangan, near Lombok and Bali, is a small 2km long piece of land bordered by a white sand beach. Once considered one of the most paradisiacal places in Indonesia, the island is now suffering from a serious problem of plastic waste invasion, both on its coast and on land. The waste is either incinerated or abandoned in wild dumps. The largest of them covers an area equivalent to a soccer field and 6m high! The result of 30 years of lack of effective waste management.
The SeaCleaners will therefore accompany the Gili Eco Trust association to optimize the island’s main waste sorting center. Opened in 2020 and covering 400sqm, this center is currently operating at only 15% of its capacity due to an inadequate operational design. With the support of our corporate partner Valorplast, an expert in plastic packaging recycling for 25 years, The SeaCleaners will carry out optimization studies of the center and finance the modifications.
At the same time, and still with the support of Valorplast, The SeaCleaners will participate in the development of a local low-tech solution for the recovery of residual waste aimed at transforming it into fuel that can be used by local communities.
Finally, The SeaCleaners will support Gili Eco Trust in the development of collection and awareness tools aimed at raising the awareness of local communities to the problem of plastic pollution and to eco-friendly actions.
Gili Eco Trust was created in 2002 to protect the coral reefs around the Gili Islands from destructive fishing. The NGO then expanded its activities from marine conservation to waste management and sustainable eco-tourism. Gili Eco Trust supports FMPL (Front Masyarakat Peduli Lingkugan), the waste collection and management service on Gili Trawangan. Their activities include daily waste collection, processing of recyclable materials and transportation off the island, and recycling of waste glass into glassware and building materials.
“The Gili Eco Trust's mission is to create a sustainable eco-touristic island. We aim to promote ecotourism, boosting the economy and improving the quality of life for the local community whilst nurturing the unique and fragile environment. To do this we want to ensure that all waste created on Gili Trawangan is reduced to minimum levels, managed and separated properly to mitigate and reduce the impact on the island landfill and natural environment. With the help of The SeaCleaners expertise, experience and resources, this goal is finally moving towards reality.”
Our projects in the rural region of Amed
Stretching along the northeast coast of Bali, the Amed region has long been among the poorest areas of Bali. Infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and telephone lines was only built in the early 2000s. Today, tourism, especially underwater exploration, has replaced agriculture and salting as the main
sources of income for the region, but one type of infrastructure is still sorely lacking: effective waste management.
The Peduli Alam Association was created in 2008 to remedy this situation. Until its creation, waste was burned or thrown into the water. Thanks to its action, waste garbage cans have been installed and a garbage truck collects the waste of the region regularly (60 tons collected per month). However, the waste is not sorted and continues to be stored indiscriminately in an open-air dump, which is not a sustainable solution.
The SeaCleaners, still with the expertise and the support of Valorplast, will help Peduli Alam to succeed in its long time project: to build a sorting and recycling center for part of the collected waste. The project includes several components:
- The technical support to develop a better collection system and to set up a sorting center with a recycling area, which will benefit to 14 villages of the region.
- Financing of equipment
- Support for the training of Peduli Alam employees to optimize waste management
- Support to the educational mission of the NGO
Peduli Alam was created in 2008. The association develops waste management projects in the region of Amed in several villages. Its main activities are: garbage collection from households, trying to collect only non-organic waste and send it to the landfill; handicrafts, mainly making bags and other useful items that are sold in Peduli Alam’s store; education through activities in schools, beach cleanups and workshops.
“Although the waste management situation in Bali is changing towards the positive, right now those changes are needing a lot of efforts by everyone involved, knowledge, education and support to come to satisfying solutions for the community. Peduli Alam is ready to help with this and very grateful for the support The SeaCleaners is already giving.”
“Alice and Antoine's field mission last month allowed us to better understand the needs to concretely improve waste management on Bali and drastically reduce environmental pollution by littering. We are extremely happy to be able to contribute to make a difference by supporting two local actors who have made this fight their daily life, Gili Eco Trust and Peduli Alam. And we are infinitely grateful to our corporate sponosr Valorplast for accompanying us in these new programs”
“What happens there concerns us here and vice versa. We have a collective challenge to give a future to plastic waste, regardless of location. The unwavering commitment of The SeaCleaners' teams combined with Valorplast's expertise in plastics circularity embodies this vision in operational terms. We are delighted with this breakthrough.”