LIPI: 400,000 Tons Plastic Waste Enter Ocean per Year



Amri Mahbub

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  • Plastic waste covers the beach at Dadap Village, Indramayu, West Java, Monday, November 26, 2018.

    Plastic waste covers the beach at Dadap Village, Indramayu, West Java, Monday, November 26, 2018.

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Researchers of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) reported a study regarding waste in 18 beaches and 13 coastal areas in the country. It was revealed that 100,000 to 400,000 tons of plastic waste entered the Indonesian sea per year.

    “The waste observed in all monitoring areas are plastic, rubber, metal, glass, processed wood, cloth, and others, including hazardous materials. In a simple calculation, it is estimated that around 100,000 to 400,000 tons of plastic per year enter the ocean,” said Muhammad Reza Cordova, a researcher at LIPI’s  Research Center of Oceanography, in a written statement, Wednesday, December 12. 

    The waste dominantly came from plastic at around 36-38 percent of waste in all study areas. Microplastic was found in all locations, either in the water surface, sediment, or inside fish's body. 

    Microplastic was mostly found on the surface of South Sulawesi waters and Jakarta Bay at 7.5 until 10 particles per meter cubic. Meanwhile, over 100 particles of microplastic per kilogram existed in the sediment of Aceh, South Sulawesi, and Biak. 

    “Microplastic is found in around 58 to 89 percent in anchovy or Stolephorus sp 0.25 up to 1.5 particles per gram. Despite the low number, this issue must become a concern because we have not known much about other impacts of microplastic,” said Reza, adding that the study showed the high use of plastic. 

    Moreover, the study concluded that there was a positive correlation between the population density and plastic use and microplastic in the environment. Besides, it was dominated from the disposable plastic.

    “To deal with waste in the ocean, particularly plastic waste and microplastic, coordination from every party, such as government, universities, private and industries as well as organization, is required to reduce the use of plastics,” Reza remarked.