Jakarta, Dec 13, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia is a haven for those preferring to use plastic, as plastic products can be found easily and bought at relatively low prices in the country, with a population of some 260 million.
As an oil producing nation, Indonesia has manufactured various types of goods made of plastics, whose basic ingredient is crude petroleum.
Despite several benefits that plastics have offered and made life easier, plastic use has environmental consequences, such as land and marine pollution due to plastic waste and deaths of wildlife after ingesting plastics or becoming entangled in plastic trash.
Plastic has toxic pollutants that harm the environment and cause land, water, and air pollution. It can take hundreds or also thousands of years for plastic to break down, so damage to the environment is long-lasting.
As to dangers it poses to wildlife, recent public outcry and protests erupted against the effects on wildlife from ingesting or becoming trapped in plastic debris.
In Indonesia, three sea turtles were found dead some 150 meters off Pari Island, Seribu (One Thousand) Islands District, Jakarta, on November 27, 2018, apparently due to plastic litter found in their mouths and front claws.
On Nov 19, a carcass of a 9.5-meter-long sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) was discovered by local fishermen, as it was washed ashore the Kapota Isle, Wakatobi District, Southeast Sulawesi. A total of 5.9 kilograms of plastic waste were found in the whale's stomach, including flip-flops and 115 drinking cups.
As concern over plastic waste is mounting, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has ordered inclusion of plastic waste education in the school curriculum.