Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology Expert States Incinerator Is A Bad “Idea” To Solve Waste Problems in Indonesia

Jakarta – Prof. Emeritus Paul Connett, an activist and expert on chemical environment and toxicology expresses that building incinerators in twelve (12) regencies in Indonesia to handle waste is a very bad idea. On Saturday (07/13/2019).


“Why is this a very bad idea?” Because wastes in Indonesia is mixed and so many. The fact is 60% of wastes in Indonesia is organic and it’s mixed with non-organic wastes. Therefore, we won’t get an efficient economic value from it, even with the idea that this generates electricity. The fact is the net energy production is small,” said Prof. Emeritus Paul Connett.


Prof. Paul Connett also explained that the plan to build incinerators is very costly and is a wrong solution to handle waste. Three fund sources for incinerators come from tipping fees, public tax which will eventually be used as expenses to burn every waste there is, starting from the capital cost, operating cost, and profit margin.


Government’s solution shouldn’t be high-temperature energy solution, but a low-temperature energy solution which is anaerobic digestion from organic waste management. Composing is a good way for an efficient upstream waste handling.


As an expert on chemical environment and toxicology, Prof. Paul explained blatantly why incinerators must be rejected. He detailed the risks of incinerators implementations which cause several negative impacts such as energy loss, health impacts, economic impacts, and etc. Especially for health impacts, his research, which has been referred by many parties, proves that a cow can inhale dioxin (incinerator’s byproduct) much more than humans. A one-day dioxin inhalation by a cow is equal to 14 years dioxin inhalation by humans.


He further explained, the next problem is human’s consumption of meat and milk from those cows. One litre cow milk contains dioxin equals to 8 months dioxin inhalation by humans. Dioxin attaches itself to fat tissue in the human body and then accumulates.


Prof. Paul’s research shows that women are able to release dioxin from its body by giving birth, however the dioxin will have been exposed to the baby, and in men, dioxin can never be released.


As an information, Prof. Paul came to Indonesia as part of his world tour titled Zero Waste Campaign Tour 2019. This was his second visit to Indonesia, the first one was in 2016 when he attended in-kind activities in multiple cities, starting from Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and Denpasar. (Dona).

AZWI: Report Launch & Movie Screening “Plastic Wastes Trade”

Jakarta – Indonesian Zero Waste Alliance (AZWI) launched an investigation report on waste trade in Indonesia. Based on the report, 43 countries import their wastes to East Java, including USA, Italy, England, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, and Canada.


“Based on the investigation conducted by Ecoton, in 2018 imported used paper’s volume is 739 thousand tons or has increased compared to 546 thousand of used paper’s volume in 2017 for paper industries’ raw materials in East Java. From those imported used papers, several plastic wastes were smuggled inside the paper wastes. “We found approximately 10-30% plastic wastes from investigation in five companies,” said Executive Director of Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (Ecoton) Prigi Arisandi when met in Report Launch & Movie Screening Event “Plastic Waste Trade”) at National Executive WALHI Office, on Tuesday (06/25/2019).


Data from AZWI shows that Indonesia imports around 124.000 tons plastic wastes (considered as remains, parings, and plastic scraps) in 2013. This amount increased twice as much in 2018 which is around 283.000 tons. This volume reached its highest import peak for the last 10 years based on data from Statistic Management Agency and UN Comtrade. Statistic Management Agency data shows a 141% increase in import however a 48% decrease in export (approximately 98.500 tons). This number indicates that around 184.700 tons of plastic waste are still in Indonesia, its faith is not known whether it was recycled as pellets or new product outside 9 tons of domestic plastic waste production.

Read moreAZWI: Report Launch & Movie Screening “Plastic Wastes Trade”

Averting The Global Plastic Waste Tsunami in Indonesia

Recently, awareness about plastic waste and its impact has found a place in the hearts and minds of Indonesians and communities worldwide. The urban lifestyle is shifting gradually away from single-use plastics, and heading toward plastic reduction regulations, among other things.

Bulk stores are a new trend to change the delivery system of products. Instead of buying products in packaging wrapped by supermarkets or certain brands, there is a growing market now for conscious consumers who bring their own containers, sacks or empty jugs to bulk stores to buy washing liquids, or some grams of grains, nuts, vegetables, etc. based on their liking or need. Zero Waste Stores in Bali and Toko Organis in Bandung, West Java, are some examples of bulk stores.

Global plastic production has steadily increased to almost 350 million tons per year in 2017, growing three times faster than the global gross domestic product.

Worldwide, recyclable plastic trade value is US$5 billion per year. In 2018, Indonesia imported 320,500 tons of plastic scraps from 42 countries with a trade value of around $102,300. This figure was double the volume and value of the trade in 2017, as an impact of China’s ban.

Interestingly, Indonesia’s top trade partners in 2018 were the Marshall Islands and the United States. The trade volume imported from this small island state was double the amount imported from the US.

Read moreAverting The Global Plastic Waste Tsunami in Indonesia

Water for All, Health for All

A child is bathed at an evacuation camp in Sentani, Papua, on Thursday, five days after a flash flood hit the region. Some 10,000 people have reportedly left their homes. (Antara/Zabur Karuru )


This year’s World Water Day of March 22, themed “water for all”, took place just five days after the third electoral debate that covered health issues. Thus it is timely to evaluate our task ahead on ensuring water is accessible and safe for all.

As we witnessed in the March 17 presidential debate, the discourse on health raised the question on balancing the quality of health services for all with the cumulative high costs borne by the nation. The answers of both vice-presidential candidates Ma’ruf Amin, running with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, and Sandiaga Uno, running with Prabowo Subianto, focused on more efficient governance of the healthcare system as well as disease prevention. Unfortunately, no one touched on the environmental factors that cause a large number of diseases of which the treatment is covered by our universal healthcare system.

Poor health is strongly associated with water pollution. The Global Burden of Diseases study in 2015 found that 1.8 million premature deaths across the world were related to water pollution. According to a study in Indonesia led by former health minister Nafsiah Mboi in 2016, skin and diarrheal diseases were significant causes of reduced life expectancy.

Diarrheal diseases are still prevalent among children living in poor environments in Indonesia according to other studies. Unimproved latrines and untreated drinking water are strongly associated with rural communities and urban slums. While only 6 percent of people in Jakarta lack access to proper sanitation, in rural Papua the number reaches 98 percent, as cited by the World Bank in 2016.

Read moreWater for All, Health for All

Jakarta Bay Pollution a Threat to Future`s Generation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Pollution of the Jakarta Bay has caused great concern for people aware of the extent of damage it could cause to the public health especially of the future`s generation.

More hazardous is pollution by plastic garbage, which is not easily degraded or decomposed. It would take tens even hundreds of years for plastic to be decomposed as against only days for banana peels, an expert has said.

Comprehensive planning, therefore, is necessary to clean the Jakarta Bay especially from plastic garbage to protect the ecology from disaster in the future .

Former Minister of Environment Emil Salim addressing expert discussion at the Jakarta Convention Hall earlier this month called for serious commitment to bringing to reality a vision that in 2030 the sea water in the Jakarta Bay could be used as a source for fresh water fit for human and industrial consumption.

Read moreJakarta Bay Pollution a Threat to Future`s Generation