Indonesia to declare battle against marine plastic debris

Hans Nicholas Jong The Jakarta Post 18 Feb 17;

Indonesia will declare its commitment to combat plastic debris in marines on Feb. 23. Studies indicate that the country may be the second-biggest contributor to marine plastic debris worldwide, with an estimated 1.3 million tons originating from the archipelago annually.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said on Saturday that Indonesia is among 10 countries committed to combating the problem.

"Indonesia has received special attention because we are one of 10 countries, including Brazil, committed to cleaning up waste in the ocean," she said during the commemoration of National Waste Awareness Day in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan.

Siti added that the government would officially declare the commitment on Feb. 23.

Indonesia is also scheduled to present a national action plan during the fourth World's Ocean Summit in Bali from Feb. 22 to 24.

In January 2016, a World Economic Forum report concluded that with the current trajectory, there would be more plastic than fish measured by weight in the world’s oceans by 2050. A previous study by APEC estimated that marine pollution cost member economies US$1.3 billion. Moreover, 95 percent of the value of plastic packaging material, worth $80-120 billion annually, is lost to the global economy. (evi)

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