Plastic recycling to help cleaning the seas?
An American company will invest US$10 million to construct a plastic recycling factory in the region of Tabanan, Bali. When opened, PT Enviro Pallets will recycle 30 tons of plastic waste, especially food packaging, into shipping pallets daily.
“We know some companies already process plastic bottles, so we will process other plastic waste that has badly polluted Balinese rivers, beaches and soil alike. I hope we can make a huge difference to the island's environment as we will process around 30 percent of its total daily plastic waste produced by individuals, households and industry,” said J. Roger Harkin, director of the company.
The factory will be part of Bali's Clean and Green programme. Governor Made Mangku Pastika welcomed the investment, calling it a significant contribution to Bali's plastic waste problem. “This may solve our burgeoning problem of dealing with plastic waste. I look forward to seeing the progress,” he said.
According to the provincial environmental agency, about 10,000 cubic metres of trash is produced by residents daily (About 15 percent of this is plastic waste.) Of the 10,000 cubic metres, only half of it is currently being processed by the government, due to budget constraints and lack of human resources.
In addition to the recycling aspect, PT Enviro Pallets will work to convince manufacturers and factories in Indonesia to replace their wooden pallets with ones made from recycled plastic. They intend to market their pallets in Surabaya and Jakarta, as well as overseas. “So we are saving the wood and we are recycling the plastic as well,” said Harkin.
In addition, he is calling on individuals and businesses to send their plastic waste to the factory, which will pay them Rp500 (US$0.05) for every kilogramme of plastic waste.