12 Mar Towards a Cleaner Banda Islands: Plastic Waste Management Survey

The Coral Triangle Center (CTC) is currently conducting a survey on plastic waste in Banda Islands. Taking place from February 1st to March 16th, 2024, the study will be divided into several phases: preparation, training of enumerators, data collection and analysis, stakeholder consultation, and final reporting. The findings and recommendations from the study are expected to inform integrated plastic waste management systems for Banda Islands.

Despite its stunning marine biodiversity and rich cultural heritage, the Islands are facing serious threats from plastic waste. The continuously increasing use of plastic among the coastal communities coupled with inadequate waste management infrastructure have led to the accumulation of plastic debris along the coasts. Additionally, waste including plastic carried by waves and currents is deposited along the coasts posing significant threats to the Islands’ marine ecosystems. 

Recognizing the bleak situation, various stakeholders including local NGOs and community groups are coming together to address the plastic waste issue in the Banda Islands. Initiatives such as plastic waste collection and management programs led by organizations like Yayasan Cahaya Samudera Indonesia (YCSI) in Banda Islands and CTC in Ay and Rhun Islands are commendable steps towards mitigating the problem.

Responding to the plastic waste crisis, CTC is undertaking a comprehensive study to assess the current waste management status in the Banda Islands. Led by CTC Banda Plastic Waste Management Consultant, Moh. Nurhadi, the study aims to collect data on waste volume and identify the current waste management status to develop a plastic waste management strategy for the Islands. Enumerators selected from the local communities will undergo training before conducting surveys on waste volume and types. They will collect plastic waste from respondents indicating the typical local waste. Waste will then be weighed and sorted, and data will be recorded in the forms prepared by CTC. Interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders will inform the current status of waste management in the area. Surveys will be conducted in Neira, Ay, and Rhun Islands as sampling locations depicting the current condition in Banda Islands.  

On March 5th, 2024, socialization of the study results was held at the Branch Office of the Marine and Fisheries Agency Cluster VI Banda Islands aiming to educate and raise awareness among the local communities. The stakeholder discussion event was attended by 22 participants (19 females and nine males): village heads (or Kepala Pemerintahan Negeri Adat or KPNA) of Nusantara, Rajawali, Kampung Baru, Merdeka, and Rhun Island, Yayasan Cahaya Samudera Indonesia (YCSI), Banda Sub-Regional Islands Cluster VI, TWP Laut Banda, Waste Management Group of Rhun Island, village government of Dwiwarna, Pokmaswas of Ay Island, Pokmaswas of Rhun Island, PSDKP Banda, journalist of Kabar Maluku, dan district head of Banda. In the event, Moh. Nurhadi highlighted that the massive daily plastic waste production in the Banda District (comprising eight villages) reaches 538 kgs, with only around one percent being recycled. The rest are burnt in the landfills (TPA) (62%) not managed (37%)- the latter might also end up in the sea. Only some villages are provided with waste collection and transportation services (villagers do not pay for these). The event was attended by various stakeholders and received positive feedback, including from Mr. Saiful Marasabessy of the Maluku Provincial Government, expressing gratitude to CTC for its educational efforts and emphasizing the importance of implementing practical waste management strategies. 

Community participation is crucial in tackling plastic waste challenges. Additionally, it is necessary to have an integrated plastic waste management system, including collection, processing, and waste handling systems, combined with education and awareness programs at the community level to attain behavioral change and further reduce waste. Every small action counts to restore and preserve the beauty of our islands for future generations. Together, we can achieve a cleaner and greener Banda Islands.

Writer: Kanya Wijaya, Kasman, Moh. Nurhadi
Photos: Kasman/CTC

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