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INDONESIA: Salesians protect ocean through recycling project

Recycling plastic bottles also provides social funds to community

(MissionNewswire) Sacred Heart of Jesus Post-Novitiate Salesian community in Sunter, North Jakarta, Indonesia, has been taking steps to increase environmentally friendly practices. Salesians are composting leftover vegetables and fruit from the kitchen and no longer throwing garbage outside of their community. Everything is being utilized on the grounds and much of it has become fertilizer. New plastic drums are being used to process other waste.

Salesians are also collecting used beverage bottles to recycle, which keeps them from going into the ocean. In addition, the money earned from recycling turns into social funds for the community.

To get started, Salesians developed an agreement with Angga Rizyan, coordinator for Plastic Bank Indonesia, a private organization that collects and recycles plastics. Plastic waste, especially plastic bottles, is difficult to decompose. The bottles need to be collected and processed properly.

Now, Salesians and people in the nearby community regularly collect plastic bottles. After growth in the number of plastic bottles collected, a storage facility was built. Two Salesians were assigned to work with the bottles in the storage facility. They remove the caps from the bottles, separate the plastic wrapping and flatten the bottles so that they fit in sacks. If there are a lot of bottles, the whole community works together.

Plastic bottles have been delivered to the Plastic Bank’s team twice. The first collection garnered 216 kilograms (about 476 pounds) of plastic bottles. The second included 385 kilograms (about 849 pounds) of both plastic bottles and water cans.

Brother Bernardinus Mei said, “The most positive thing has been reducing plastic bottles being wasted or scattered everywhere. There is an awareness now to collect plastic bottles, thereby reducing waste. People who routinely collect plastic bottles also participate in protecting their yard and the environment. If everyone has the same awareness, then gradually we will all be able to provide environmental protection to our surroundings and prevent plastic pollution in the oceans. The bottles are also collected and processed for new materials.”

According to the World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed 2.76 million more Indonesians into poverty, bringing the country’s poverty rate to the highest level since March 2017. Due to job loss and business closure, there are 27.5 million people living below the poverty line as of September 2020. This is up significantly from 24.8 million a year earlier.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Indonesia – Turning Plastic Bottle Wastes into a Blessing

Salesian Missions

World Bank – Indonesia

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