REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Indonesia is very committed to decrease plastic waste waste in the ocean. On the last 15 years, Indonesia has faced a big challenge of mounting plastic waste. Most of them due to single-use plastics, such as plastic bag, sachet and pouch, straw, and styrofoam. In 2005, the fraction of plastic waste is 11 percent. However, today, it reaches 15.7-18.5 percent.
Indonesian government has drafted 5 strategies and action plan to decrease plastic waste in a long term. It consists of: (1) increasing national movement in managing waste comprehensively by involving all stakeholders, supported by strong regulation in both national and regional; (2) conducting good waste management in both land and ocean with high intensity, high technology, and people’s initiatives and participation; (3) strengthening plastic waste management, including marine plastic pollution from fishery activity, transportation, tourism, and housing, especially in coastal areas; (4) strengthening institutional and financial capacity building, monitoring, and law enforcement; (5) conducting research and development to encourage innovation and technology enhancement.
Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) through Center for Policy Strategic (Pusjakstra) on Monday (24/5) visited an example of people’s activities in Pramuka Island, Kepulauan Seribu. They utilized technology to process plastic waste into the New and Renewable Energy (EBT) in the form of diesel fuel. Located in the Hall of National Park Management Region III of Kepulauan Seribu, the Head of Center for Policy Strategic, Herry Subagiadi, discussed with environmental activist community from Rumah Literasi Hijau.
Herry said that his visit to Pramuka Island was to directly see the utilization of plastic waste into fuel. He hopes the activity could give benefits to fisherman and generate electricity in other islands in Kepulauan Seribu. “I hope this activity will be replicated in other places. From this discussion, we hope there are some follow ups they we will review in our office to manifest the utilization of plastic waste into New and Renewable Energy in other places,” Herry said.
A teacher and an initiator of Rumah Literasi Hijau, Hjh. Mariyah, said that she has started the movement since 2009 and invited everyone to join in preserving environment. Then, for the last 2 years, Rumah Literasi Hijau obtained pyrolysis machine that turns plastic waste into diesel fuel.
According to Hjh. Mariyah, this technology is very simple that even common people can learn how to operate it. The pyrolysis technology doesn’t need high electricity and big space. “The results from our lab say that the fuel is relatively stable and can operate two-stroke machine such as chainsaw,” Hjh. Mariyah said.
Meanwhile, based on Pertamina, pyrolysis is a decomposition process of a material in a high temperature without air or with limited air. The decomposition process in pyrolysis is often called devolatilization. Pyrolysis or also known as thermolysis is a chemical decomposition process using heat with the existence of oxygen.
Pyrolysis process produces a solid fuel, which is a carbon, a liquid mix of tar and other substances. Other products are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and other gases with small contents. Pyrolysis results in three kind of products, solid (charcoal), gas, and bio-oil.
After having a discussion on the utilization of plastic waste into New and Renewable Energy, during his visit to Kepulauan Seribu, Herry also planted mangroves in Karya Island. About 210 mangrove seedlings are divided into 3 groups.
Herry wanted the mangroves to be planted well. “We hope that the small things can trigger others to so the same thing, such as planting mangrove to complete the beach in Karya Island,” Herry said.
Mangrove has a big benefit for coastal ecosystem. Its ecological function is also very important for the habitat of marine biota. The abundance of fish and sea creatures are coming from good mangrove ecosystem. In the end, it will benefit to the fishermen.
Mangrove also acts as ocean break water to prevent beach abrasion and sea water intrusion. Another important fact is that mangrove can absorb a big amount of carbon. A one-hectare mangrove forest can absorb more than 1,000 tonnes of carbon. It is more than a usual forest can do.