Nusa Tenggara Barat (4/11) – Indonesia is still facing a plastic waste emergency. The Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data stated that the country generated approximately 66 million tons of plastic waste annually. Separately, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)’s research indicated 0.26 – 0.59 million marine debris floating in the ocean per year. This has positioned Indonesia at the 2nd rank as the marine debris producer globally, per the study conducted by Jambeck in 2018. The government tried to address the worrying situation through the National Action Plan for Marine Debris Handling (RAN PSL), targeting a 70 percent reduction of plastic waste in the ocean by 2025. The Secretariat of the National Coordinating Team for Marine Debris Handling (TKN PSL) got the mandate to execute the action plan under the supervision of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Kemenko Marves).
In 2021, the United Nations Development Agency (UNDP) Indonesia through a project of TKN PSL Secretariat and Archipelagic Island States (AIS) Forum conducted the Ending Plastic Pollution Innovation Challenge (EPPIC), a marine plastic debris eradication competition at the ASEAN level where waste management innovators are able to share their brilliant ideas to address the plastic issues. Ten (10) selected finalists from Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam, will enroll in the incubation session from October to December 2021. One of the main agendas in the incubation session is a four-day field trip to Mandalika, Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), from November 1-4, 2021. In Mandalika, the finalists observed the current pollution situation in the area while testing their innovative ideas to see whether it would be able to solve the problems.
“Within the 70 percent target of marine debris reduction by 2025, we have managed to eradicate 15.3 percent in 2020. We conducted the EPPIC competition as part of RAN PSL strategies, which encourages the movement to involve the public in creating innovative solutions to solving the marine debris issues by activating multi parties’ partnerships. From the competition, we expected to see innovative ideas that are proven effective and replicable to be implemented across the country in the future,” said Ahmad Bahri, Project Coordinator of TKN PSL Secretariat, UNDP.
EPPIC is targeting reducing marine plastic debris in the coastal area significantly. During the field trip, the finalists will create the mapping, business sketch, decision making, prototype launching and testing. The representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Environmental and Forestry Agency of NTB Province, environmental activists, and local community are all involved in the field trip as the key speakers and facilitators.
Mandalika, as one of Indonesia’s super-priority destinations, imposed a high probability to generate increasing waste volume from the growing tourism and infrastructure developments. The finalists visited multiple locations such as Batunyala Recycling Center, Pengengat Landfill, and Mandalika International Circuit to study the waste management facilities in the locations. During the trip, the finalists also discussed with local communities such as Plastik Kembali, Bank Sampah NTB Mandiri, and Geo Trash Management to learn about the local context to implement localized plastic waste management plan.
“NTB has huge potentials on tourism, especially in Mandalika. We want a next-level tourism in NTB. One of the key points to achieving this is by addressing the plastic waste issue. Hence, we thank the EPPIC competition and are keen to see the ideas from the innovators to be implemented here,” cited Baiq Eva Nurcahya Ningsih, Assistant for Government and Social Welfare of NTB Province.
As a platform, EPPIC competition would produce ideas that would strengthen the country’s circular economy of plastic products. Furthermore, the winner of EPPIC would utilize the gained knowledge from these events and use the existing networking of environmental activists across the country and in ASEAN.
“We encourage all finalists of this activity to participate in efforts to prevent and reduce plastic waste actively. With the support of various parties, particularly the government, community, and international organizations, we believe that EPPIC would be able to address the waste issue and contributing to reducing the marine debris significantly,” said Rendra Kurnia Hasan, Head of Waste Management Division, Kemenko Marves.
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