Statistics for Ocean Pollution in Developing Cuntry

How big the impact of developing countries

Indonesia is the biggest archipelago country in the world. But the statistic for ocean pollution is very bad. This condition is very concerning, given the lack of public awareness regarding waste disposal. 

Not only that, but knowledge about waste management in the community is still minimal. Whereas waste handling must be done by both parties between the government and the community.

Referring to the pollution statistics in the sea, Indonesia is only behind China which has contributed 3.53 million metric tons of waste per year. Even when compared to India with a larger population, Indonesia is far behind that country. India only contributes around 0.24 million metric tons of plastic waste every year.

Statistics for Ocean Pollution
Statistics for Ocean Pollution in Developing Cuntry

Indonesian waters are currently facing a serious threat due to the accumulation of garbage. According to Jenna Jambeck's marine pollution statistics, in 2015, Indonesia ranks second in the world. These results make Indonesia the second largest contributor to plastic waste in the oceans

The same condition was confirmed by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS). It is stated that out of 64 million tons of plastic waste each year, 3.2 million tons are dumped into the sea. Part of this plastic waste contribution is also sent from other regions. Even based on the global level, the disposal of plastic waste into the sea reaches 8 million metric tons.

Image source: Jenna R. Jambeck et.al.

Similar conditions also occur in the waters of Bali, Indonesia. PPLH Bali conducted waste pollution sampling in several schools. Based on the research, it was found that waste from plastic cups (26%), clear plastic (25%), and plastic spoons (20%). This was followed by garbage from plastic straws (11%), plastic bags (9%), and mica plastic (5%).

Sources and Impact of Marine Pollution in Indonesia

Plastic pollution in the ocean has become a very serious issue. Based on the data above, waste originating from the mainland also contributes greatly to marine pollution in Indonesia. This is not to mention due to improper disposal and management of waste which has the potential to pollute the waters. There are various kinds of marine pollution, including the following.

1. Plastic Waste

Plastic waste is very dangerous because it is waste that is difficult to decompose or non-biodegradable. Plastic waste can last up to hundreds of years at the risk of being toxic to marine ecosystems. Plastic waste in the oceans can reduce organisms on earth that have an important role in oxygen availability.

Given that some of these organisms create Oxygen that we breathe while breathing. In addition, plastic waste can also be damaged due to exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet rays. The plastic will degrade and turn into small pieces. So that the plastic waste eventually releases many chemical compounds from time to time.

Such conditions do have an indirect impact on aquatic ecosystems. As for the impact that can arise directly, namely marine animals eating the plastic waste. It is also not uncommon to find marine animals caught in plastic dumping.

2. Petroleum Activities

Marine pollution in Indonesia can also involve the petroleum industry. Of the various cases that are often encountered, many pollution incidents are caused by leaking oil pipes. An example is the leak of an oil refinery in Cilacap in May 2015 which is detrimental to the ecosystem and fishermen. There are also other causes such as tanker oil spills, oil drilling, and so on.

3. Eutrophication

Eutrophication is a condition of the waters that are too fertile, thus increasing the number of algae and phytoplankton drastically. Finally, marine ecosystems scramble to get light as a medium for photosynthesis.

4. Pesticides

Marine pollution in Indonesia is also caused by the use of pesticides from the agricultural and plantation sectors. Pesticides containing DDT compounds which will seep into the soil and flow into the oceans.

Even though as we know, pesticides contain toxins and can affect the nervous system of living things or marine biota. These compounds are also able to change the behavior of fish, inhibit egg development, and kill various marine animals.

How to Overcome Water Waste Pollution

The United Nations (UN) has set urgent targets regarding cases of marine pollution in the world. This is also related to the SDGs regarding marine ecosystems that are targeted in 2020. Efforts to overcome these impacts are aimed at creating healthy and productive water conditions.

The UN sets efforts through conservation activities of at least 10% in coastal areas. Meanwhile, in 2025, the United Nations is targeting a reduction in pollutants including plastic waste. As for the efforts of the Indonesian government that is being encouraged in handling marine pollution. Here are the efforts made.

1. Increasing Public Awareness

The lack of awareness of waste pollution is the main cause of disruption of the marine ecosystem. Therefore, the government launched a national movement as an effort to increase public awareness. This effort is carried out through the movement to care about waste in the sea through the education of State Civil Servants, educators, students, and university students.

Apart from that, efforts were also made through training in all aspects of society. Whether it's training in the business world, community groups, religious leaders, mass media, to the entire community. The training focuses on sorting and utilizing plastic waste.

Given the magnitude of the impact due to marine pollution, the government also needs to promote adequate quality resources. Especially in the field of tackling marine debris. If only, the government provides a specific executing agency as a special team unit for the problem of marine waste.

2. Utilization of Plastic Waste

Plastic waste pollution in Indonesia is very high, according to marine pollution statistics. As an effort to solve plastic waste effectively, a strategy of reuse is carried out. In other words, waste is processed so that it can be used by the community. One effort that can be done is by mixing recycled plastic material into the asphalt.

So that waste can be used as a mixture to build or repair roads. Waste management also needs to be done in land areas, both in the industrial sector and household waste. Although not straightforward, this step can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste in the waters.

The community is expected to be able to process plastic waste into more useful handicraft materials. For organic waste, people can process it through composting steps. Meanwhile, waste that can no longer be used can be thrown into the TPA or burned.

3. Regulations on Petroleum Activities

As a precautionary measure, the Indonesian government has launched a Zero Spill Operation program for every oil and gas company. The government emphasizes that companies have mandatory and rigid rules regarding prevention. For example, preventing oil refinery leaks and oil spills at sea.

As for ways to overcome if a case occurs, namely through in-situ burning, mechanical elimination, and bioremediation techniques. The government also emphasizes the use of sorbents, chemical dispersants, and other methods according to the case.

In order to minimize losses, Indonesia ratified the Civil Liability Convention for Oil Pollution Damage CLC 1969 based on Presidential Decree No. 18 of 1978. In it, it mentions the stipulation of compensation rules for shipowners due to oil spills.

Based on pollution statistics in the sea, Indonesia ranks second as the largest contributor to marine plastic waste in the world. Such conditions should be able to raise awareness of the importance of proper waste management. It takes the role of the government, industry managers, and the general public in the problem of marine pollution in Indonesia.

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