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Indonesian river clean-up project grows

In the slipstream of the G-20 economic summit on Bali, the governments of Indonesia and the Netherlands have expanded a joint initiative to remove plastics from Indonesia’s most polluted rivers.

A floating system launched by The Ocean Cleanup organisation as a pilot in Jakarta in 2017 will now have more of these so-called Interceptor solutions added to rivers in Indonesia. So far the project has removed 20 tonnes of plastic.

Indonesia wants to reduce marine plastic debris by 70% by 2025 and one strategy for achieving that goal is to use technology to prevent waste from the land reaching the ocean via rivers.

‘Marine plastic debris is our common enemy and polluted rivers are a source of plastic debris leakage into the ocean,’ says Indonesia’s minister for maritime affairs and investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan. ‘We require extraordinary and integrated solutions to responsibly manage the waste in the river and in the ocean.’

‘This recognition by both the Indonesian and the Dutch government of our work is essential for us,’ adds Boyan Slat, ceo of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘There are several dozen target rivers in Indonesia where we would aim to deploy Interceptors and this endorsement provides essential backing to our initiatives.’

The Ocean Cleanup has also launched Interceptor systems in the Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Jamaica, Vietnam, and the US.

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