Fighting ocean plastics at the source

Include USA P&G Head & Shoulders beach plastic bottle Fairy
In Muncar, on the coast of East Java, Indonesia, fishers still make their living the traditional way, launching from the shore in the hand-painted boats they have used for generations. But that doesn’t mean that this harbor town is untouched by time. Plastic waste is mounting on the riverbanks and in the waters around Muncar. Some probably lurks within the fish brought ashore on the boats. Muncar is the second-largest fishing port in Indonesia, but it has barely a semblance of a waste management infrastructure. Dorothea Wiplinger, the sustainability manager for Austrian plastics maker Borealis, was on the ground in Muncar recently studying the problem. She says nearly 90% the garbage, mostly organic waste, that local inhabitants generate is either dumped haphazardly or burned. “You cannot see the sand anymore because the beaches are just full of waste. And then the high tide takes the waste away,” she says. “The people there don’t have any other choice.”