11 August 2022

US Agency for International Development Clean Cities announces plastic reduction partnership

Collaboration aims to reduce ocean plastic pollution in Indonesia.

© Nick Agus Arya/Unsplash

The US Agency for International Development Clean Cities is to collaborate with a suite of partners in an effort to reduce ocean plastic pollution in Indonesia.

The partners include investment management firm, Circulate Capital and Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia, a plastic recycling company, have announced a new partnership that aims to expand collection and recycling infrastructure in Indonesia to generate high-quality, traceable recycled plastic to enter into global markets.

The partnership will help generate high quality, traceable feedstocks to help meet the growing demand for recycled content that is current challenged by limited market incentives, local systems, and infrastructure while strengthening coastal communities’ solid waste management systems.

It will initially focus on the city of Semarang, Indonesia—one of the largest cities in Java—which is increasingly under pressure to reduce and recycle growing volumes of waste but does not have an economically or logistically feasible recycling system in place.

By 2025, 68% of Indonesia’s more than 270 million people are expected to live in urban areas, where only half of waste is currently estimated to be collected. To address these challenges and establish a scalable model, the partnership will focus on expanding collection and recycling infrastructure, building local government capacity for solid waste management planning and management, and mobilising and empowering the informal waste sector - whom are critical to local waste management but often under resourced and represented.

A new facility where plastics will be aggregated, for example, is set to process about 30 tons of material per day and will help to provide new income for roughly 100 individuals - both employees and local waste collectors sourcing materials.