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Following the success and learnings of our collection activities in Bintan, we decided in the summer of 2022 to expand our collection activities to three sites on the neighboring island of Batam, the largest city in the Riau Archipelago and an industrial hub with over 1.2 million people.
Our goal in Batam, like for Bintan, is to remove the plastic waste polluting the coastal communal and river environment and work with the local communities to collect and manage the plastic waste, and in time intercept it before it reaches the ocean through implementing household collection and awareness raising.
The lack of waste management services means that households often have no other means than to dump the solid waste directly into the ocean which comes in as tides underneath the houses. However, over the years the waste has amounted to more than what the tide can sweep out to sea, and as such the plastic waste collates in rising layers under and next to the homes.
These layers of plastic waste in turn create small pools of stagnant polluted water (as the tide can no longer reach) wherein mosquitoes thrive – exposing the already vulnerable communities to an advertently high risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue. Tanjung Uma is already one of the communities in Batam with the highest reported rate of Dengue. Removing the plastic waste from these community areas will thus also result in a significant health improvement.
We are strengthening our collection efforts in river Bengkong by installing a series of barriers, in collaboration and co-design with the local fishermen and environmental agency, to stop the severe plastic leakage flowing from the river to the ocean.
While barriers are not new, it will be a pilot project for us to assess its applicability in a river such as Bengkong as well as how our project operational model will align with this river technology. Further it will allow us to design projects that can scale into applying such technology faster and more efficient in the future.
The establishment of an MRF on Batam is necessary if we are to move towards properly managing the waste we collect from our sites and enable (more and better) recycling of the collected waste or other end-of-life opportunities (waste-to-energy) rather than sending it to landfill.
An MRF, and hence better and more structured management and storage of the waste we collect, will be a cornerstone to strengthen the value-chain of our collection efforts and the circular economy for plastic waste as it will enable us to improve the quality of the material (washing and sorting) and store larger volumes for more attractive feedstock provision to a more diverse set of recyclers or other end-of-life providing companies.
We developed an efficient plastic collection and sorting infrastructure in Bintan, Indonesia to recover plastic pollution from the ocean. Our Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) ensures that plastics are diverted from the struggling landfill and ultimately recirculated into the circular economy via recycling where possible and secondary co-processing solutions where necessary.
70% of all ocean plastic originates from rivers. We developed the High Impact Plastic Pollution remOver to tackle this crisis. The HIPPO will be installed at Wat Jak Daeng buddhist temple along the Chao Praya River in Bangkok in Q3 2023.