How Private Companies in Indonesia Combat Marine Plastic Debris
Plastic is a material that is versatile, resistant, lightweight, and inexpensive to produce, which makes it ubiquitous in our everyday lives. However, the amount of plastic waste released in our environment and its negative effects on our marine ecosystem have attracted increasing scientific concern in recent years. East and Southeast Asian regions are recognised as the biggest contributors of marine plastic pollution due to rapid economic growth and the lack of solid waste management infrastructure. Indonesia, in particular, ranks fifth in the world among countries that have mismanaged their plastic wastes, according to a study by Dutch scientist Lourens Meijer et. al. (2021).
Alarmed by this situation, the ASEAN Member States in 2019 welcomed the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris and adopted the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region. In May 2021, ASEAN as a group officially launched the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Member States (2021-2025), which recognises the urgent need to combat marine litter, including by promoting platforms for knowledge sharing, innovative solutions, and best practices to address this issue.
Although much is still left to be studied, particularly the long-term impacts of plastics on our marine ecosystem, and its potential harm to human health through the food chain, there is a wide international consensus to take urgent preventative actions before further damage is done. Echoing these concerns, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) has established the Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris (RKC-MPD) in 2019 to provide ASEAN+3 Member States with support in addressing emerging challenges associated with marine plastic debris.
At the occasion of this forum, ERIA’s RKC-MPD will focus on the important role played by the private sector, especially in tackling plastic waste both from upstream and downstream levels. The private sector in ASEAN+3 countries has been contributing to the reduction of plastic waste and by consequence marine plastic debris in the region. Their efforts can range from improved resource efficiency, to enhanced waste management, proper recycling, to innovative technologies leading to a more sustainable production and consumption patterns.
However, many such initiatives are not sufficiently recognised and acknowledged. One of the important missions of RKC-MPD is to promote private companies whose business activities help combat marine plastic litter, in the hope of further promoting this positive shift. RKC-MPD has established online platform titled ‘Private sector initiatives to reduce plastic waste and marine plastic debris’ (https://rkcmpd-eria.org/story). It hosts information submitted by private companies from all ASEAN+3 countries to showcase their products, services, or technologies contributing to the reduction of plastic waste and marine plastic debris. The platform collects and disseminates private companies’ business activities that are conducive to marine plastics mitigation. It also aims to facilitate Business-to-Business, Business-to-Government and/or Business-to-Consumer opportunities in the ASEAN+3 region.
The forum will be an occasion for the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment of the Republic Indonesia and Indonesian private companies to share the initiatives of private sector in combatting plastic waste and marine plastic debris. RKC-MPD will also reintroduce the Private Sector Platform (PSP) to the public, particularly to the private companies, to raise more awareness on the platform and its objectives. It aims to attract a larger number of private companies to take part in this initiative and join forces in the fight against marine plastics.
DATE AND TIME
21 September 2021, 10:00-11:30 AM Jakarta time (GMT+7)
Michikazu Kojima, Research Fellow, Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris (RKC-MPD), ERIA
Hera Diani, Communication Expert, RKC-MPD, ERIA
Each panelist will deliver a 5-minute presentation on the selected topic
Open Discussion with Q & A
Michikazu Kojima, Research Fellow, RKC-MPD, ERIA