Uncovering Indonesia packaging waste management
Turning off the tap
Indonesia is one of the countries with the biggest dumping of plastic waste into the oceans, largely due to poor management of this waste in coastal areas. In 2010, its plastic waste volume was estimated at 3.2 million metric tons per year, and could double by 2025 if no significant action is taken. The objective of this scouting study, commissioned by Nestlé, is to better understand how waste is managed in Indonesia, to map waste flows and to identify key stakeholders that could help reduce plastic leakage to the ocean.
In DKI Jakarta and Surabaya, average waste generation is around 0.6kg/capita per day. In the rural areas of the Motaain region, this average falls to 0.2 kg/capital per day.
Between 55% and 75% of household waste is organic waste, and between 12% and 14% is plastic packaging.
Today, between 70% and 90% of total waste end up in disposal sites in the studied urban areas. The amount of waste that is illegally dumped, buried or otherwise inappropriately treated can reach between 6% in urban areas and up to 50% in rural areas.
At the time of the study, formal initiatives to sort recyclable waste remained limited in Indonesia. Waste segregation is orchestrated by an eco-system of informal sector players that contribute to diverting recyclables from disposal and litter.
Formal players like waste banks collect an average of 30 kg of packaging waste per day, which is less than a third of the average daily amount collected by an informal waste picker operating on major waste disposal sites (about 100 kg per day per waste picker).
Waste pickers often live in poor health, economic and social conditions.
The estimated recycling rate for plastic packaging waste in Jakarta is 17.7%.