06 Apr Plastic Waste Management Workshop in Banda

Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues affecting marine biodiversity and ecosystems in Banda Islands, Maluku. To increase public awareness about the dangers of plastic waste, CTC and other related key stakeholders in the Banda Islands held a waste management workshop in the Ay-Rhun Islands Marine Protected Area on April 6, 2021.

The workshop, which took place for one full day and strictly adhered to health protocols to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 disease, was attended by 48 people. The participants came from five big islands in the Banda Archipelago, namely the Ay, Rhun, Banda, Neira, and Hatta islands. During the workshop, CTC was assisted by local facilitators from the Cahaya Samudera Indonesia Foundation (YCSI). This event was also joined by representatives of local government and tourism practitioners.

According to the results of the discussion, the participants managed to identify several challenges in managing waste in the Ay-Rhun Islands. Those challenges include the low level of public awareness to avoid disposing waste into the sea, the lack of knowledge regarding waste processing, the absence of waste processing facilities and infrastructure, the lack of allocated budget to support the work of waste management officers, and the emergence of unwanted waste from the sea during certain seasons.

The Director of YCSI Maga Vira Ali said that his organization is willing to help solve the problem of waste management in the Ay-Rhun Islands. The YCSI has worked for more than five years in the Banda Islands and already own an integrated waste processing facility. The facility is equipped with modern machines such as a plastic waste chopper, plastic waste press machine and processing machine that turns plastic waste into fuel products. “We have sent the plastic pellets to collectors in Surabaya and Jakarta. The income from selling these processed waste products will go to the facility operational costs, staff salaries, and purchasing plastic waste from the community,” said Maga during the workshop.

To address the local waste management problem, the village government of Ay and Rhun Islands will draft a specific village regulation. The new law will regulate the schedule for garbage collection from the households, the funding for the waste collection process, and the fine or punishment for villagers who litter. In addition, the Head of VI Island Cluster of the Maluku Province Marine and Fisheries Agency will issue a letter of appeal on a regular basis to fishers and fishing boat crews in the Banda Islands to avoid throwing garbage into the sea.

At the end of the workshop, some village representatives, local government staff, and other key stakeholders jointly signed the workshop minutes as a form of agreement and action plan of future waste management in the Banda Islands. CTC will continue to facilitate other supporting activities to continue to increase public awareness in managing waste, especially single-use plastics, in the Ay-Rhun Islands MPA, as part of the organizational commitment to support local marine conservation and capacity building in the area.

Photo Credit: La Ode/CTC

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