The world population is increasing exponentially every year. According to the Indonesian Ministry of Home Affairs, the total population in Indonesia had increased by 1.13% in 2022 from the previous year.
The increasing birth rate boosts the public’s needs. Every day, many Indonesians would go to the nearest traditional market or shop to buy daily supplies and fulfill their needs; with plastic bags.
The terrible smell from all of the waste gets even stronger as you go deeper into the market.
Public awareness of environmental cleanliness is still relatively low in places like these as many garbage still scatters in almost every corner of the market. People are often reluctant to properly dispose of their rubbish and would prefer to wait for cleaning services to do the job for them.
In the Tempat Pembuangan Akhir Pakusari Jember, or also known as the Pakusari Landfill site, about 150 tons of solid waste are dumped every day. Collected from the 15 sub-districts in the Jember regency, the municipal solid waste consisted of plastic waste, organic and inorganic waste, tree trunks and other trash’.
Even so, many Indonesians are still careless about littering, which adds on to the issue of rampant plastic usage in Jember. Through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations is calling on people across the globe to reduce the use of plastic.
Saiful (23) is a World Cleanup Day International (WCDI) Volunteer who engaged in clean-up activities along the Bedadung River to sustain river ecosystems, prevent flooding and stop climate change.
During his trash collection process, the sight of plastic waste and baby diapers was ubiquitous to Saiful.
There is also Suswati (54), who is known as an inspirational figure in her local community. She is a housewife who upcycles plastic waste as handicraft materials. Every day, she goes to warung kopi (Coffee Shop) to collect used plastic coffee packs and convert them into commercially viable knitted handbags.
Her talents are passed on to the children in her community. Through promoting the creativity of upcycling, Suswati hopes that these children can grow to become aware of the detrimental impact of climate change.
She said that while the impact of excessive plastic usage may not be felt now, this unsustainable pattern of consumption may result in unintended consequences that may compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.