PriPro SEA Project, Indonesia
Minimising plastic waste in the marine environment is the focus of the New Plastics Economy (NPE) initiative established by a core group of organisations and companies on the premise that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Project SEA is a Pioneer Project within the founding group of the NPE, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF). PriPro SEA seeks to establish best practices for the recovery of plastic waste in priority countries. Partners of PriPro SEA developed an Assessment Framework (AF) to map the flow of materials from the point of entry into the economy by country, to its point of disposal, as well as recycled and repurposed material. The Pioneer Project partners appointed A.Prince Consulting (APC) to pilot the Assessment Framework (AF) in three countries – Indonesia, India and Philippines and to provide recommendations regarding its replicability, ability to collect robust data and develop a methodology that allows the successful implementation of AF in the field.
APC undertook extensive research on the waste management systems and material flows in the following locations in Indonesia: Sorong, Kabupaten and Manado.
Prior to initiating the work based on the company’s experience, APC recommended the redesign of the Assessment Framework, in two parts. The first stage involved gathering qualitative information on financial mechanisms, demographic and socio-economic data, institutions and regulators, and available collection and disposal systems. The second stage involved gaining a robust understanding of the material flows in the economy, as the result of the existing systems identified in stage one, through a detailed and comprehensive data collection and auditing process.
The Indonesian findings
In Indonesia waste management is a local government responsibility. Typically budgets are inadequate with just US$5-$6/per capita per annum spent. This amount compares poorly with international benchmarks of US$15-20 per capita per annum. Lack of investment in the sector has led to inefficiencies and high operational costs predominantly due to lack of enforcement of environmental and solid waste laws and regulations.
- House to house waste collection is emerging and constrained by costs. 18% of household waste is leaked to the environment.
- Plastic packaging in the home is predominately single serve sachets and flexibles/film for food, beverage and personal care. Leakage is dominatedby PET water bottles & PP water cups.
- The majority of plastics (63%) are discarded in public areas with the potential to impact the environment.
- A survey showed that the community have an acute awareness of the environmental and health impacts of poor waste. Whilst satisfied with current methods of collection an overwhelming 95% preferred a household collection.
To move forward a concerted effort involving improvements to services and infrastructure, community engagement and education and capacity building of government officers and elected representatives is needed. Funding, resourcing and conflicting priorities remain an ongoing challenge.