Education, Indonesia-Australia relationship key to addressing NT plastic pollution
Author: Liam Taylor
In recent years the issue of Asian plastic waste washing onto beaches in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory has become an ongoing scourge for rangers and environmentalists. According to academics and diplomats, education and strengthening the relationship between Indonesia and Australia will be crucial to stemming the flow.
Reports were released earlier this year revealing the scale of the plastic waste crisis on our northern shores by documenting thousands of mismatched thongs, fishing nets, discarded bottles and other plastic items strewn across beaches where population and consumerism are about as limited as it gets. Indonesia is one of the world's worst ocean plastic polluters, second only to China.
One of Australia’s top Indonesian diplomats and the NT’s Indonesian Consul, Dicky Soerjanatamihardja, visited East Arnhem Land last week and said education would be paramount to curbing the issue of marine waste in Indonesia.
“The most important thing is we need to give more education to our children, and of course our future generation… to start to manage our waste, especially the non-biodegradable waste like plastics,” Mr Soerjanatamihardja told ABC Online.
Mr Soerjanatamihardja also heard from local leaders about how else the two regions could continue to improve ties, from business to artistic trades and bolstering the Indonesian community.
The indigenous communities of East Arnhem Land and Indonesia's Makassar had a trading relationship as far back as the 1600s, predating European settlement.
- Marine plastic pollution is a huge issue for many marine and coastal mammals such as turtles, tortoises, dolphins and whales. Avoid single-use plastics where possible and find out how to recycle the unavoidable stuff at RecyclingNearYou.
- For those that want to help clean up, Take 3 for the Sea and Seaside Scavenge are two incredible organisations working to reduce global plastic pollution through education and participation.
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.
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