News, Jakarta – The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) revealed that plastic pollution, which was initially seen as an aesthetic problem, now also shows negative impacts on marine biota, such as eating wrong and getting caught or entangled.
“In 2050 it is predicted that the amount of plastic waste will exceed the number of fish, and the number of microplastic exceeds the marine plankton, so that it can threaten marine life and humans. And Indonesia is considered as one of the world’s second largest marine waste producers,” said Research Center Researcher LIPI Oceanography Muhammad Reza Cordova, Wednesday, December 12, 2018.
Solving the problem of plastic waste in the sea needs to be done to support the Sustainable Development Goal 2030. At the 2017 World Ocean Summit, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs stated that the Indonesian Government until 2025 will allocate funds of Rp 13 trillion per year to reduce 70 percent of marine waste.
Information on waste pollution and its impact on marine organisms officially in Indonesia is still limited. On the other hand, research on plastic waste in marine aquatic ecosystems is still very little in Indonesia.
“This shows the importance of research studies related to marine waste. Plastic waste in general is divided into large size and microscopic size. The study of marine and microplastic waste research in Indonesia is currently an important issue,” Reza said.
Reza and the team studied 18 beaches in Indonesia which were used as monitoring areas every month to monitor stranded garbage. 13 coastal areas in Indonesia were used as microplastic sampling areas on the water surface, and eight locations for microplastic in sediments and one genus of fish (Stolephorus sp) from 10 locations throughout Indonesia.
The result is that the types of waste found in all coastal monitoring areas are in the categories of plastics and rubber, metals, glass, wood (processed), fabrics, others, and hazardous materials. Dominant waste comes from plastic (36-38 percent) in all study areas.
“Based on rough calculations with simple assumptions, it is estimated that 100 thousand to 400 thousand tons of plastic per year consumed by Indonesian people enter the Indonesian sea,” Reza added.