As a result of the cleanup event that started at around 7 a.m. local time, the volunteers, including those from "I Choose Earth" Community, could collect several hundred bags containing organic and inorganic waste from the city`s tourist site.
Head of Kupang City Government`s Office of Environmental Affairs Yeri Sabtuhar Padji highly lauded the residents` care for the environment by helping the government handle the trash-related problem.
Different forms of trash, particularly domestic waste, are still easily found in and around the areas of the city`s mangrove ecotourism park and Oesapa Beach. The waste might be dumped into rivers and carried to the sea, he remarked.
Padji said it was necessary to make the people living along the river banks aware of the importance of keeping rivers clean by not dumping household waste into them and by implementing the reuse, reduce, and recycle (3R) system.
"May this cleanup event help encourage the Kupang city residents to be willing to keep their respective neighborhood areas clean and stop littering," he noted, adding that the trash picked up by the volunteers was then transported by trucks to a dumpsite.
Indonesia has been facing a major problem related to plastic waste over the past several decades amid the government`s serious endeavor to deal with the menace by highlighting its detrimental impacts on the country`s environmental sustainability.
Plastic waste, which has a serious impact on the quality of soil and water and may threaten the existence of living creatures, is closely related to the amount of the trash produced and used by Indonesians every day.
Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya noted that some 9.8 billion plastic bags are used in Indonesia every year, and almost 95 percent of them will end up as waste.
The ministry`s waste management directorate also estimated that the total number of plastic straws used by Indonesians every day reaches some 93 million, increasing from nine percent in 1995 to 16 percent this year.
Reporting by Aloysius Lewokeda, Rahmad Nasution