TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has urged all companies that produce plastic products to help clean up seas and oceans from plastic debris.
Plastic companies should join the fight against marine plastic debris, so far carried out only by the public, the minister said on Sunday after attending a plastic waste campaign dubbed "Plastic Debris Parade" held at The Aspiration Park.
Indonesia is the world's second largest contributor of marine plastic debris and this could threaten the country's fish exports, she remarked.
"If it is not (cleaned up), there will be more plastics than fish in ocean by 2040," she added.
"Whereas, Indonesia is the world's second largest fish exporter to Europe, and fourth largest fish exporter to the world," she noted.
She estimated that 70 percent of plastic debris would likely to enter Indonesian waters, given the fact that 71 percent of the country's territory is waters.
"We need fish, we need beautiful seas. Fish is for food. Fish is for our fishery industry. In the meantime, we also need to eat to make us smart and to make us healthy," Susi Pudjiastuti said.
She pledged to continue campaigning against plastic waste and to improve the public awareness.
"We continue to organize activities to appreciate seas and love seas, by campaigning on the danger of plastic debris. In several fish markets, single-use plastic is no longer there," she explained.
Indonesia produces plastic waste amounting to 64 million tons annually, and of the total production, 32 million of them are plastic debris polluting seas and oceans, according to data of the Indonesian Plastic Industry Association (INAPLAS) and the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS).
Ten billion single-use plastic bags or 85 thousand tons plastic bags pollute the environment every year, according to the same sources.
Earlier, Minister Susi Pudjiastuti called on Indonesians to curtail the production of plastic waste, as it can degrade the environmental quality, especially in oceans and rivers.
"The efforts to reduce it start from us, by not using, producing, or accepting plastic waste," Susi noted in a statement recently.
The minister urged the public to use bags not made of plastic that can be reused multiple times.