Plastic waste is an emerging environmental issue because of the extensive use of plastic and how it persists in the environment. According to a 2010 global study, Indonesia is the second largest contributor to ocean plastic pollution. Today, only 60% of Indonesian waste is collected by municipal waste management systems, the rest is burned or dumped into the environment, often directly into waterways.
The country consumes more than 6 million tons of plastic annually. As a result, nearly 1 million tons of Indonesian plastics end up in the oceans every year. The existence of these debris is a new threat that has a terrible impact on the marine ecosystem and the socio-economic sustainability of the community. Solid waste can be found in every area of the coasts of North Sulawesi, it destroys the marine system and kills a lot of animals living in the ocean.
In Manado City, Sindulang Beach is the location with the highest solid waste density of 8.28 items/m2 (during flood tide) and 15.31 items/m2 (during ebb tide). As there is no system to deal with the trash produced in daily life, therefore no one feels responsible for the trash. Many coastal communities are not aware of the long term effects of throwing solid waste in the ocean.
That is why Manengkel Solidaritas launched a program about waste management and recycling plastic waste in Manado area, to try to reduce the plastic pollution of the ocean, mangroves and forests which suffers a lot from this contamination. Manengkel Solidaritas is currently helping a recycling center in Kilolima which collects plastic from the city, sort it depending on the kind of plastic (water bottle, thick bottles, other plastic wastes), and then sell it to a recycle society in the island of Java.
This sorting center is able to produce 160 tons of plastic per year, which is recycled and doesn’t end up in the environment. They get to sell each ton of plastic for 2 million IDR, which is a great income for the 11 workers of this place. Manengkel Solidaritas has helped the sorting center by providing them security equipment (masks, gloves and security shoes). They also try to get this place known in Manado, so that big shops and restaurants can become aware of their plastic wastes and start to take responsibility for those. Those shops and restaurants can now decide to recycle their garbage, and through Manengkel Solidaritas, send them to this sorting center in order to get them recycled.
Manengkel Solidaritas has also launched a recycling program in Kelurahan Airmadidi Bawah based on the model of the sorting center, but on a small scale. They taught small villages the economic value of plastic wastes, and how to sort them and sell them. This allowed those villages to begin to collect their plastic waste in order to make an additional income for their family out of those plastic garbages.
Recycling plastic in Manado is very important, and people need to be aware of their impact on the environment, especially in this area where there is beautiful national parcs (Bunaken, Tangkoko …) which are really endangered by this kind of pollution.
Help the planet, be aware of your plastic waste, help recycle them !