The Jakarta Post
Civil society groups in East Java have called on five countries to pick up the trash illegally dumped along the Brantas River, which lowers the quality of the river water and has other environmental affects in the area.
A coalition called the Brantas River Coalition to Stop Imported Plastic Trash (BRACSIP) urged the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Britain to immediately conduct environmental restoration of the area as a number of trash items, such as personal care products, food packaging and household products, were originally made in these countries.
The coalition also claimed they had found several documents in connection with the garbage export and import process.
“We know the countries of origin and companies of origin, as well as the trash importers,” coalition coordinator Prigi Arisandi, who is also director of Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (Ecoton), said in a statement.
More than 5 million individuals who live along the lower reaches of the Brantas River consume its water, as supplied by state-owned companies.
Indonesia put restrictions on the importation of household trash through a 2008 law on waste management and a 2016 ministerial regulation on provisions for the importation of non-hazardous and toxic waste.
“Disposing household waste from these rich countries in Indonesia is indeed unfair and humiliating to Indonesia’s dignity,” Prigi said.
He added that the practice had worsened the image of Indonesia, which is currently considered to be one of the largest trash producers in the world.
“These ‘civilized’ countries are widely reputed in waste management, but they apparently throw their plastic waste away in Indonesia,” Prigi said.
The coalition also urged the government to take stern measures against individuals or companies that import trash from overseas. (das)