Surabaya (ANTARA) - East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa has called on everyone to reduce the amount of plastic waste resulting from their day-to-day activities by following practices, such as abstaining from using plastic straws.

"Do not forget to bring shopping bags or personal lunchbox or drinking bottles and separate the household trash," she stated during the commemoration of World Environment Day at the Negara Grahadi Building in Surabaya on Monday.

Parawansa said such initiative aligns with the spirit of the 2023 World Environment Day theme "Solutions to Plastic Pollution."

She opined that the theme serves as a reminder of the real threat of plastic pollution to the entire world.

"Plastic waste has become a global issue. Basically, the awareness to reduce plastic usage has been spread among the people. Our task is to make it a massive action," Parawansa noted.

She pointed out that plastic waste, especially that discarded without being processed first, is one of the top causes of global environmental pollution.

The governor cited data from the National Waste Management Information System, which stated that in 2022, Indonesia had generated some 68.5 million tons of trash, with 18.5 percent of the figure being plastic waste.

"Plastic waste handling must be performed in (its entirety), from the source all the way to its final stage. Starting from using products made from materials that can be recycled, all the way to preventing it from being thrown away, particularly into the seas," she explained.

Parawansa cited the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which projected that in 2040, some 29 million tons of waste will be found in the waters.

She also highlighted the commitment of 175 countries participating in the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) on March 2, 2022, in Nairobi, Kenya, by expressing their readiness to end plastic pollution.

Their resolution, titled Plastic Pollution Resolution, specifically outlines the whole cycle of plastic pollution management, right from the start until it ends up in the seas, she noted.

She said that the resolution is a global effort made to address the plastic waste issue, considering that it exacerbates crises, such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, as well as pollution.

She commended some regional leaders in her jurisdiction that have issued policies on banning the use of plastics for purchased items.

She expected that other places in East Java would adopt a similar initiative.

Parawansa also expressed her optimism that Indonesians would adopt better lifestyles by reducing the use of plastics.

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Translator: Abdul Hakim, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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