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Jakarta Post

Imported plastic saves tofu makers – but poisons their villages

  • Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, November 16 2019   /  01:19 am
Toxic smoke: Scavenger Puji Urip, 60, stands in front of burning plastic waste at a dumpsite full of imported plastic in Mojokerto, East Java, on Dec. 4, 2018.(Courtesy of Fulli S. Handoko)

Toxic smoke: Scavenger Puji Urip, 60, stands in front of burning plastic waste at a dumpsite full of imported plastic in Mojokerto, East Java, on Dec. 4, 2018.(Courtesy of Fulli S. Handoko)Tofu is one of the few cheap sources of protein in most parts of Indonesia. To maintain its price, most tofu factories use cheap imported soybeans and now some of them are using imported plastic waste as fuel.  At least 50 tofu factories in Tropodo village in Sidoarjo, East Java, have used a mix of imported paper and plastic waste to fuel their stoves amid the soaring price of firewood.While the strategy helps tofu makers to maintain their profit, it comes with a huge price for the people and environment around them.A recent report entitled “Plastic Waste Poisons Indonesia’s Food Chain” shows that plastic waste, much of which was imported from the West, has contaminated eggs produced by free...