A handful of schools from Jakarta came to the Bekasi Regent this Thursday (8/2) to learn more about waste and responsible waste management. In part of Waste4Chabge program, The AKABIS, is an event that promotes responsible waste management to students. AKABIS has ran their new campaign called Plastic Reborn, which targets students that have environmental consciousness about plastic waste. Plastic Reborn is a collaboration effort of 3 different institution that work together for one goal. With its tagline #MulaiDariGue, which means starts from me, the Plastic Reborn event has succeeded to promote the environmental awareness and the value of responsible waste management.
It was started with a simple campaign all around Jakarta and Bekasi. There are 100 drop boxes in 90 places which are used for collecting PET bottles from schools and universities. All collected bottles will be up-cycled and recycled to become something more useful. PET is a type of plastic that is easy to be recycled and has a strong but also flexible property. For examples, did you know that the recycled PET bottles can actually became hand bags, jerseys, chairs and even become bottles again?
Coca-Cola Foundation, Ancora Foundation and Waste4Change joined forces to realize a noble mission to educate the future generation about plastics. Today, most plastic waste goes to landfill or went to the nature, even though plastic is such a hazardous material to the environment. It all has to change, the sooner the better. We must reborn the way we treat plastic waste. There are so much potential for plastic to be recycled and used for better value.
Students has learnt that the plastic waste they generate are being recycled right now. The Plastic Reborn program has campaigned around their schools and it has prepared a scoring system for the participants to get more out of it. Each point for the schools could be accumulate by the students until the end of the program to get really interesting prizes.
From Waste to New Material
What kind of reborn that are we talking about here? Plastic Reborn believes there has to be a change in the society to make less environmental impact from plastics. Nadia, one of the participant of Plastic Reborn, from SMAN 28 said that “It is good to know that there are a lot of things we can make from plastic waste”. Students like Nadia joined in this program because she knew that the waste in today’s society is a problem. There were already a lot of possible solutions that we can do, but it had not been applied yet.
At the beginning of the day the students from 13 schools are brought to the biggest sanitary landfill in South east Asia, the TPST Bantar Gebang. Bantar Gebang has an area of 1.8 million hectare and in recent years has transform into a better landfill than before. Roy Sihombing, the administrator of Bantar Gebang said,” Hopefully there will be recycling plant for plastics built this year, other than that, compost and energy has been the main product that we can get from this landfill site.” The students here have seen a lot of new things that are useful for them. This excursion made them realize about the situation of waste itself. 7000 tons of garbage come from Jakarta every day to this site, and it’s not going anywhere. There must be a breakthrough innovation to treat the waste.
After discovering the way for waste storage, the students visited Waste4Change’s Materials Recovery House or as known as, RPM, Rumah Pemulihan Material. In this house, garbage is sorted out and ripped a part to take some materials that are still valuable for recycled. The materials then processed in the house to be set for recycling. Muhhamad Raffisidik liked the experience from the trip to RPM and said that now he knows the abundant category of inorganic materials for him to sort out.
The next place they visited is the composting site. Students are mentored to sort out inorganic and organics trash. Organics will be composted an inorganic trash can be recycled. Fitri Sintadewi from SMAN 48 felt like it really gave her great insights about waste, as she said that we have to separate waste from the start for people to reuse or recycle more efficiently. The students have experience hands-on what is it to sort out trash for the recycling waste. Some said it was tiring and disgusting but most of them knew that it has to be done for the composting and recycling of our waste.
Awareness into Real Action
In the end, the students were there to realize a real action plan. They all met together in a hall and gathered up in groups to make an action plan for themselves to apply it in their own schools. Students are educated by interactive slides and also fun games beforehand. But the main event is where the students work together to their hardest to make a creative and effective plan to manage waste from their schools. 5 schools that wins the overall points will be chosen as project schools for the Coca-Cola Foundation to visit and actually helps to apply their action plan in their school’s work and running.
It has been a fun and educational activities for the students. It is important for the organizer to pass on the knowledge to future generations about the problem we are currently facing for waste. SMAN 22 has been declared as the winner in the end of the Plastic Reborn Program. Together with 4 other schools, they were given an opportunity to create the awareness in their own schools for the waste that they have to responsibly managed.