Minister seeks solutions to combat pollution from marine plastic wastes

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The office of the coordinating minister for maritime affairs is seeking solutions to tackle pollution arising from marine plastic garbage, according to an official of the maritime coordinating ministry.

"We are drawing up an action plan on handling plastic trash and are in the process of discussing it with the World Bank for a budget intervention," Deputy I for Maritime Sovereignty of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry Arif Havas Oegroseno stated in Jakarta on Monday.

Oegroseno said the problem of plastic garbage has a direct impact on the sustainability of the fisheries sector as well as on the marine health and environment.

Oegroseno noted that starting this year, efforts have been made to tackle wastes at sea. As many as 15 cities are participating in a study to seek solutions to the issue of marine plastic wastes.

Among the 15 cities are Jakarta, Makassar, Semarang, Surabaya, Medan, and Batam.

"The study has been conducted since last week and will be continued for three days," he revealed.

The results of the study will be used to decide the steps to be taken by the ministries and government institutions to handle plastic wastes at sea.

The involved ministries and government institutions comprised the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry, Environment and Forestry Ministry, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology, and Education and Culture Ministry.

"The ministry of education and culture will be involved, as the waste problem is closely related to the mindset of the people," Havas remarked.

Havas said that the government will also cooperate with several countries facing the same problem, such as Denmark, the US, Australia, and the Netherlands.

"The US is also facing the same problem, so we can exchange information on ways to solve it," he stated.

Based on a study, Indonesia ranked as the second plastic waste contributor to the worlds maritime waters.(*)