Bintan, Indonesia

Riau Archipelago

The original Seven Clean Seas impact project.

Bintan Island in the Riau Archipelago (Indonesia) has a population of over 150,000 people, is home to several marine protected areas and is a marine biodiversity hotspot. Native to these waters are Dugongs, Dolphins and Sea Turtles to name a few.

The island is however also highly polluted by marine plastic pollution due to both its geographic location - with currents bringing ocean plastic waste to the exposed island - and due to inadequate waste management infrastructure and local awareness - leading to plastic leaking directly into the marine environment.

We are currently scaling up the project significantly in-order to generate the most positive environmental and social impact EVER in 2023.

kg of plastic removed

We really trust our process

Project Overview

As one monsoon ends and another begins, Bintan Island in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago transitions from one ocean plastic nightmare to another. During the North East Monsoon, Bintan’s position, perched at the southern most tip of the South China Sea creates perfect conditions for plastics from some of the world's most plastic polluted waters to sail straight into it. Covering the Marine Protected Area, clogging mangroves and carpeting beaches.

Additionally, Bintan unfortunately cannot count on a perfect waste management system and much also leaks directly from the coastal and fishing communities into its once pristine waters. When the South West monsoons kick in, this is ever apparent.

It’s visible in the data, a switch from plastic pollution which has traveled great distances to get there, often adorned with languages other than Indonesian, to locally produced, locally consumed post consumer packaging... and ghost nets... lot’s of ghost nets from the fishing industry.

Our cleanup crews here have their work cutout for them and they have been fighting this fight ferociously since 2020.

Scaling up for real impact!

In 2022, Seven Clean Seas build its first Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). This facility was a game changer and somewhat multi purpose.

It acts as a traditional MRF where the plastics recovered are sorted for recycling and secondary processing. It is the basecamp for our 3 collection crews. It’s an educational space for local community engagement and education activities. It even allows us to welcome international visitors and companies who want to learn about the projects important work, and fancy getting stuck too!

More recently, this MRF has also been the site of research and development into turning non recyclable materials into composite materials with perminace,  the hope being that one day 100% of what is collected from the marine environment can achieve true circularity and re-enter the circular economy.

Oh yeah and it’s incredibly yellow, obviously!

Key 2022 Achievements

March - Formal employment of 20 community members into Bintan clean-up crews.

April - Seven Clean Seas’ first Materials Recovery Facility becomes operational in the town of Kawal. Recyclable material is now captured and categorised for most suitable end of life solution.

June - Seven Clean Seas signed MoU with Bintan Environmental Agency formalising the project within the regency.

Sept - First research and development undertaken at Bintan MRF on recycling of project-collected HDPE

Dec - Bintan Project successfully re-certified under OBP Certification, incl. the city Tanjung Pinang which was not previously been accessible.

2023 - Following the successful re-certification, collection efforts are scaling up in Bintan trials are beginning with coastal community collection in Tanjung Pinang, which could see the plastic recovery rate more than double by end of 2023.

Project partners

Nikoi Island

Batam, Indonesia

Batam is an island in the Riau Archipelago battling ocean plastic pollution. We’re building a multisite project to remove plastic pollution from the ocean around 2 coastal communities and 1 highly polluted river. It kicked off in November 2022 so watch this space because we’re going BIG!

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HIPPO, Thailand

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 Chak Daeng buddhist temple along the Chao Praya River in Bangkok in Q3 2023.

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