Waste could provide clues to human civilization. As scientifically proven in the study of archaeology, humans produce waste their entire lives and the quantity highly depends on their style of life.
Through the Waste Analysis and Characterization Study and Brand Audit (WABA) conducted on 70 respondents in community unit (RW) 01 and RW 07, Lebak Gede subdistrict, Coblong district, Bandung city, West Java, the 28 staff members and volunteers of the Biotechnology and Bioscience Development Foundation (YPBB), as well as participants of the Zero Waste Academy, could figure out the waste that comes from a particular area.
In an area in Bandung, for instance, piles of waste were being studied as part of the WABA.
The one-week-long study included filtering, measuring and identifying the types, quantity and material of waste consumed by the residents in the area. The piles of waste were then divided into those produced by people with an income of more than Rp 6 million (US$423) per month and those with one of less than Rp 3 million per month.
The process of identifying the waste took quite some time and energy, which began with encouraging respondents to sort out their waste, collecting it, measuring it and sorting it again based on product and brand similarity. All the data were then processed to gain information regarding the waste produced in a particular area.
This pattern was inspired by the Mother Earth Foundation and a community in the Philippines.
Based on the information about the waste accumulated in subdistricts, districts, cities and provinces, researchers gained detailed data on the waste in the area.
These data were then used as policy advocacy material for the government to control the use of plastics and as feedback to producers to use materials that are eco-friendly and recyclable. The same can also be applied in Indonesia by separating waste directly from the sources and adopting wiser product consumption. (yun/kes)