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Jakarta Post

Cool leather, without environmental impacts

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Bogor, West Java   /   Thu, October 25, 2018   /  09:07 am
Cool leather, without environmental impacts Residents of Sumbersari village in Garut, West Java, held a rally protesting leather tanning factories that disposed untreated wastewater into Ciwalen River, in Sukaregang, a center of leathercraft industry in the city (kompas.com/Ari Maulana Karang)

Try to imagine having access only to water that is putrid and smells terrible, is undrinkable, causes rashes and respiratory problems, and God knows what else. This is the experience of residents near the famed leather manufacturing center of Sukaregang in Garut, West Java. 

Over the past few years, the pollution caused by the local leather industry has escalated, allegedly leading to the deaths of two residents from respiratory problems. Last month, the people of Sukaregang took the issue to the streets. 

Leather has been used for making clothes, shoes and other apparel from the beginning of documented history. Since 2003, some 2,100 square kilometers of leather has been produced globally — over three times the size of Jakarta. Leatherwear has long been a symbol of prestige and “cool”.

Leather is indeed cool, yet m...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.