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Jakarta Post

Fighting back plastic pollution crisis amid pandemic

  • Kristin Hughes


Geneva   /   Tue, September 22 2020   /  01:00 am
Plastic world: A scavenger collects plastic waste for recycling at Cipeucang dump site in Serpong, South Tangerang, west of Jakarta, on Feb. 28. Indonesia, like other countries, is intensifying the fight against plastic pollution. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

The skyrocketing use of disposable plastic masks and gloves. Lockdowns on movement and shuttered recycling facilities. Suspensions or delays on laws that would have restricted single-use plastic bags in shops and markets. The plastic pollution crisis, already sharply escalating over the last decade, has been significantly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting crisis is not only environmental, but also starkly humanitarian. At the local level, informal sector waste pickers and others working in waste management are facing evaporated livelihoods and high risk of infection. Women and girls, traditionally marginalized by harmful societal norms and excluded from employment and protections in the formal sector, are disproportionately affected. When we started the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) two years ago to translate commitmen...