In September 2022, Waste4Change, Plastic Bank, Patriot Induk Waste Bank (BSIP) Bekasi City, and the PREVENT Waste Alliance held a socialization activity for waste bank unit about the plastic waste management program Creating Value In Plastics Through Digital Technology as part of the PREVENT Waste Alliance Pilot Project Research. This activity aims to create a comprehensive and measurable data collection on the waste supply chain while at the same time forming a more effective plastic waste management behavior in residential areas.
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The Role of the Waste Bank in Waste Management
This socialization activity involved 21 Garbage Bank Units in the Bekasi area. The waste bank is considered an influential institution in implementing responsible waste management according to the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) principles consistently at the community level. The government also entrusts the waste bank as one of the Waste Management Institutions that can help realize a Waste-Free and Clean Indonesia by 2025.
We know that the waste management condition in Indonesia is still improving. Data from The National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) in 2021 states that around 4.8 million tons of plastic waste are not appropriately managed yearly. 48% are burned in the open, 13% of trash ends up in illegal dumpsters, and 9% pollutes waters and seas. The low access to adequate waste management services is a problem that needs attention.
For this reason, we need to make efforts to prevent plastic waste from polluting the environment by increasing the recycling rate of plastic waste, especially from the source. Improving people’s views on the importance of destruction, involving their role in managing waste independently, and providing appropriate facilities are steps the government can initiate to produce intelligent waste management behavior. Waste banks seem to be an effective solution for waste management in the community.
Eddy Supangkat as a Director of Bank Sampah Induk Patriot (BSIP) Bekasi City, said that, “We can help the government in reducing waste that is disposed of in the TPA thanks to the implementation of the BSU (Waste Bank Unit) in every RW. The reduced waste can reach 5% every month. We also collaborated with PREVENT and Plastic Bank to motivate BSU in increasing the waste capacity of its area. Through the Plastic Bank Application, BSU members are greatly assisted in selling Plastic PET. BSIP continues to encourage the community to be responsible for their waste and segregate waste from home (upstream)”
Quoted from the Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation Number 14 of 2021 concerning Waste Management in Waste Banks, waste banks are the closest waste sorting and collection sites in the community and act as a medium for education, behavior change, and emphasizing the circular economy. The waste bank movement is expected to change people’s views on the benefits of waste processing.
Saka Dwi Hanggara as a Campaign Manager Waste4Change and Project Manager of this project said that, “As one of the most trusted waste management institutions in the community, waste banks in Indonesia need to develop to keep up with the changing times. The transaction process from upstream to downstream needs to be recorded properly, therefore it can increase the value of the waste. Increasing the value of waste also increases the welfare of the community and also increases people’s motivation to be more responsible for their waste. This also benefits the Main Waste Bank because it gets more valuable materials. It also benefits the government, because more waste is saved from leaking into the environment.”
Reasons for Using Digital Technology
This digital technology is intended to record the management process and data on plastic waste collected from each waste bank. The Main Waste Bank will later access this data as a container for segregated waste and will be in charge of distributing it to the recycling industry. Sales and purchase data will also be recorded in the Plastic Bank application so that reporting can run effectively between all parties.
The pilot project team, which consisted of Waste4Change, Plastic Bank, cirplus and the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) explained several reasons why they want to implement the program in Indonesia’s environment. Among them are the lack of waste segregation by households, the lack of collected waste data, and the difficulty of accessing recycled materials, which are important challenges in the waste management system in Indonesia. Therefore, a transparent waste value chain is needed from the waste bank to the recycling producer.
Ms. Nicole Bendsen from the PREVENT Waste Alliance Secretariat, stated that, “”The pilot project was especially exciting for us because it pursued an holistic, systems-thinking approach which considered and integrated stakeholders along the value chain to address the complex challenges of waste management. It was interesting to pilot the advantages and disadvantages of using digital technologies as “glue” to connect the different stakeholders.”
The plastic waste management program’s socialization is divided into several stages. The first stage is the socialization of the introduction of the program to each participating unit waste bank. The second is the application induction event, namely by introducing and explaining the Plastic Bank application in detail and how to use it to unite waste bank customers. That way, members are expected to understand and apply it to operational activities (collection of waste by customers).
Rizyan Angga as an Indonesia Operation Manager Plastic Bank said that, “This collaboration program produces several essential features in digitizing waste data collection from upstream to downstream which will be helpful for all parties. The role of connecting the Waste bank and TKR to W4C to the end of the chain is that the recycler processor plays a vital role in this pilot project so that we can create a digital solution that is useful for us in the future.”
The next activity is to research unit waste bank customers related to plastic waste management carried out by waste banks. And at the end of the program, a video competition between Waste Bank Units was held to foster enthusiasm and creativity. The video content must provide education and a campaign for sorting waste from home. All Waste Bank Units participated in this competition since the beginning of the activity.
The final result of the Waste Bank Unit video competition was that three winners were obtained based on the assessment provisions. They are the Karya-Intensive Waste Bank from RW 026 Pekayon Jaya, South Bekasi, as the first winner; Nasio Waste Bank from Jatiasih, Bekasi City, as the second winner; and the Dahsyat 18 Waste Bank as the third winner. Waste4Change, BSIP, and The PREVENT Waste Alliance appreciate each waste bank unit’s enthusiasm for participating in this activity.
The PREVENT Waste Alliance: The PREVENT Waste Alliance project entitled Creating Value In Plastics Through Digital Technology is carried out as part of providing innovative and sustainable solutions that contribute to a country’s circular economy. This project is expected to provide output in the form of improvements in the waste management system in Indonesia, including increasing the sorting and recycling rate of plastics through digital technology.