Today marks the first anniversary of the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ partnership with USAID.
In July 2022 the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s ‘Clean Cities, Blue Ocean’ program, partnered with Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Southeast Asia to expand collection and recycling infrastructure in Indonesia.
Last month, representatives from Prevented Ocean Plastic™ ceremonially cut a ribbon outside of a new-build Aggregation Centre in Semarang, Indonesia. And today, exactly a year after USAID announced their commitment to the Programme, Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia proudly declared the new Centre, the first in participation with the Agency, officially open.
The Semarang site was chosen as it is located in the fifth largest city in Indonesia, home to 1.8 million people, and the most densely populated area in the Central Java Province. At present, less than a quarter of Semarang’s plastic is recycled, and population growth is expected to double the volume of plastic waste by 2030.
The new Aggregation Centre has a much higher capacity than a standard Collection Centre and will be capable of processing 500 tonnes of recycled plastic per month. It has scope to employ more than 90 direct staff, and will supplement the income of 250 indirect workers from the local community.
Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia is the lead partner in the region of the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Programme, which was launched in 2019 by Bantam Materials UK Ltd. The Semarang site is the first step in the Programme’s mission to open 25 new collection centres by 2025, in collaboration with their affiliates and funding partners.
Last year, the Programme introduced the Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Standards to develop best-in-class practices and elevate the recycled plastic supply chain. Since that time, Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia has been at the forefront of their development and implementation. The Director of Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia, Daniel Lawrence Angelo, is proud of the work his team have done to implement these standards and to secure funding for further Collection Centre builds.
“These areas have traditionally lacked any kind of formal waste management infrastructure, so to introduce these new Centres is a privilege” according to Lawrence. “As someone who has lived here and could recognise the problem, it means a lot to be part of the solution and provide income opportunities for Indonesian workers and their communities.”
Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia’s Chief of Sustainability, Nurhasanah Dewi Irwandi, adds, “It’s incredibly important that we continue to build Collection Centres in areas that need it most, and that we do so in a way that both benefits the workers as well as the environment.”
Raffi Schieir, Director of Bantam Materials UK Ltd. and founder of Prevented Ocean Plastic™ said, “Coastlines across the globe are under threat from plastic pollution, so we have selected regions where we can work with partners of integrity to deliver impact at scale. Through our Prevented Ocean Plastic™ model, there is no limit to what we can achieve. In the future we would love 25 Centres to become 50, and 50 to become 100, as we continue to grow.”
Prevented Ocean Plastic’s partnership with USAID will continue in the future. More details of that, and the next step in the 25 by 2025 mission, will be announced soon.
Prevented Ocean Plastic™ is high quality, certified recycled plastic that has been collected from coastal areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution. Used by supermarkets and brands around the world, it meets regulatory health and safety standards, is traceable back to source and can be identified on-pack through its distinctive triangular logo. Prevented Ocean Plastic™ is an official nominee for the 2023 Earthshot Prize, and counts Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Booths Supermarket as key partners, along with major manufacturing partners such as Groupe Guillin, Spectra Packaging, and Berry Global for offerings across multiple product categories, including fish, poultry, soft fruits, pet food, personal care, and home cleaning.