"We have a problem with plastic. I read in a book that (plastic) basket for crab cultivation can be used for about four years. Well, after four years, what can we do with it after it becomes waste," Pudjiastuti stated, while launching PT Freeport Indonesia`s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program in Timika, on Tuesday.
According to the minister, Indonesia has become the second largest contributor of plastic waste in the world after China. Therefore, after being used for crab cultivation in the community economic development program, the plastic basket should not be discarded into the sea.
"We are now throwing almost 160 million tons of plastic waste into the sea. One day, the Indonesian sea will contain more plastic than fish. This is my concern, because after traveling around Merauke, I see many canals filled with used mineral water bottles. I am sure it is the same around the villages in Mimika," she remarked.
"Maybe, in addition to this program, PT. Freeport, together with other relevant parties, can also support the environmental hygiene program; of course, plastic waste is not a matter of society," the minister added.
According to Pudjiastuti, in addition to reducing the beauty of the city, plastic waste has caused the emergence of puddles everywhere.
The plastic waste issue can become a time bomb for the Indonesian people if they do not immediately handle the waste in the gullies and waters which are filled with plastic.
"A campaign to reduce the use of plastics is also very important. Therefore, the waste from this crab farming program must not be thrown into the sea; otherwise, it becomes garbage again," she explained.
EDITED BY INE/H-YH