18 Million Tons Generated in 2022 with Plastic Waste Surging to 3.4 Million Tons or 18.24%

The over-reliance on plastic water bottles in Indonesia has resulted in mountains of waste, threatening the country’s natural beauty, wildlife, and public health.


Written by Rika Andini

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry data shows that of the 18 million tons of waste generated in 2022, 3.4 million tons, or 18.24%, is plastic waste. This is a significant increase compared to the previous year, where plastic waste accounted for 18.13%.1

Indonesia is known for its lush rainforests, long-stretched coasts and white-sand beaches. However, lately, our country has been suffering from a serious environmental problem caused by humans themselves: plastic pollution. Plastic water bottles are among the worst offenders and their production and use in Indonesia have severe consequences on the environment due to improper management and disposal.

Plastic water bottles have a significant impact on the Indonesian environment. The widespread use of disposable plastic bottles leads to an increase in plastic waste, which can have severe consequences for the country’s land and sea beds. Plastic waste not only harms the environment but also poses a threat to wildlife and human health. The increasing trend of plastic waste production is a cause for concern, and it is crucial that steps are taken to reduce the impact of plastic water bottles on the Indonesian environment.

Indonesia is one of the largest contributors of plastic pollution to the ocean, ranking second globally. Plastic waste in the ocean can take hundreds of years to break down and can release toxic chemicals into the water, affecting not only marine life but also humans who rely on the ocean for food and livelihood. To address this issue, it is crucial that Indonesia implements measures to reduce plastic waste production and improve waste management practices.

As it is known that plastic is bad for the environment, it is imperative to take action to reduce our plastic consumption. With about 50 billion plastic bottles used annually worldwide, plastic would need around 450-1000 years to decompose in a landfill. As landfills don’t have enough space and capacity to cope with this amount of plastic, more and more plastic continues to give rise to numerous environmental issues that can no longer be ignored.

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How much plastic waste does Indonesia produce each year?

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) reveals that Indonesia produces an alarming amount of plastic waste each year, reaching 64 million tons.2 Out of this staggering amount, 3.2 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean, contributing to the growing global issue of marine plastic pollution. Additionally, the country generates 10 billion pieces of plastic bags annually, equivalent to 85,000 tons of plastic bags which are improperly disposed of and harm the environment. These numbers place Indonesia as the second-largest contributor to plastic waste pollution in the sea, following China. This highlights the urgent need for action to address plastic waste management in Indonesia and reduce its impact on the environment. 

Previously, data from The World Bank in 2018 showed that 87 coastal cities in Indonesia were responsible for adding 1.27 million tons of waste to the ocean, with plastic waste making up 9 million tons of this amount.3 An estimated 3.2 million tons of this plastic waste was comprised of plastic straws. This highlights the severity of the plastic waste problem in Indonesia and the impact it has on the ocean. 

Furthermore, a study conducted by Jenna R Jambeck from the University of Georgia revealed that in 2010, there was a worldwide production of 275 million tons of plastic waste.4 Of that amount, between 4.8 to 12.7 million tons ended up in the ocean, polluting the marine environment. These findings underscore the importance of addressing the plastic waste crisis and implementing effective solutions to reduce plastic pollution in Indonesia and around the world.

Most of the plastic waste comes from water bottles

Plastic waste is a major environmental issue, and a significant portion of it is caused by the widespread use of plastic water bottles. These single-use containers are convenient, but their disposal often leads to littering and contributes to plastic pollution. Plastic water bottles take hundreds of years to decompose and have a detrimental impact on the environment, especially marine life. The growing problem of plastic waste from water bottles highlights the importance of finding alternative, sustainable solutions and promoting responsible waste management practices.

The use of plastic bottles, including for healthcare purposes, is a significant contributor to plastic waste. One Puskesmas, located in Bebandem, alone uses approximately 30,000 plastic bottles each year. While some Puskesmas have adopted the use of 19 returnable bottles, it is estimated that there are over 9,000 more Puskesmas that continue to use smaller, environmentally harmful plastic bottles similar to those used in Bebandem. These numbers demonstrate the need for a shift towards more sustainable practices, including the use of reusable or biodegradable alternatives, in healthcare facilities in Karangasem and beyond.

Every year, the Karangasem Health Center discards 28,000 plastic bottles. This excessive use of single-use packaging is not only harmful to the environment, but it also contributes to an ever-growing waste problem. The solution to this issue is simple: by promoting the use of reusable packaging, Indonesia can drastically reduce its plastic waste and protect the environment.

The use of disposable plastic bottles is not limited to healthcare facilities but is also widespread in schools. In Indonesia, more than 180,000 schools regularly purchase single-use bottled water, leading to an increase in plastic waste in both landfills and bodies of water. This is a concerning trend, as the accumulation of plastic waste has severe consequences for the environment and future generations. To address this issue, it is crucial that schools and other organizations promote the use of reusable containers and raise awareness about the impact of plastic waste on the environment.

Reasons for the dangers of using plastic bottles for the environment

Plastic bottles have become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, but their convenience comes with a high environmental cost. The production and disposal of plastic bottles contribute to environmental problems such as pollution, waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and depletion of resources. Additionally, many plastic bottles end up in the oceans, affecting marine life and ecosystems. These dangers highlight the importance of reducing our reliance on plastic bottles and finding alternative, sustainable solutions. Here are some reasons for the dangers of using plastic bottles.

Take Forever to Decompose

Plastic bottles are a primary contributor to environmental pollution, and one of the primary dangers is that they take an incredibly long time to decompose in nature. Estimated that most plastic bottles take up to 500 years to decompose, meaning that the plastic bottles produced today will exist for centuries before being broken down into smaller pieces and absorbed into the natural environment. With more than a million plastic bottles produced every minute, it’s shocking just how much lasting damage the disposal of these plastic containers is causing to our planet

Pollute Our Oceans

Another danger of using plastic bottles is that they pollute our oceans, with over 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris floating in the ocean. This pollution has a disastrous impact on marine life, as animals often mistake bits of plastic for food, which can have a terrible effect on their health and wellbeing.  This not only harms them physically, but also diminishes their access to food, leading to death and further damage to the ecosystem. While the true effects that this plastic pollution has on the environment are still largely unknown, we do know that there is an abundance of it, and it puts marine life in great danger. The situation is especially serious given that Indonesia is home to some of the world’s most biodiverse coral reefs, coastlines, and thousands of islands

Contribute to Climate Change

In addition to polluting our oceans and killing marine life, plastic bottles are also adding to climate change. The production of single-use plastic bottles causes a great deal of energy use. This energy mostly comes from burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil. This burning releases a lot of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere, leading to global warming. In this way, plastic bottles not only harm our oceans but contribute to climate change as well.

Harmful to Human Health

Finally, it cannot be ignored that plastic bottles are also vastly detrimental to human health. Chemicals used in their production can find their way into any liquid stored within the bottle, and when consumed by humans, these chemicals can cause a variety of severe ailments such as cancer, reproductive issues and neurological problems. With the ever-increasing amount of discarded plastic bottles and containers in our environment, it is imperative that steps be taken to address this issue before the health of future generations is compromised

How to Reduce Plastic Bottle Waste

Plastic bottles are a primary contributor to environmental pollution, and one of the primary dangers is that they take an incredibly long time to decompose in nature. Estimated that most plastic bottles take up to 500 years to decompose, meaning that the plastic bottles produced today will exist for centuries before being broken down into smaller pieces and absorbed into the natural environment. With more than a million plastic bottles produced every minute, it’s shocking just how much lasting damage the disposal of these plastic containers is causing to our planet

Use Reusable Bottles

One of the easiest and most impactful ways to minimize plastic bottle waste is to adopt a reusable water bottle. Making this switch has a dual benefit – it helps to decrease the amount of plastic waste you contribute to the environment and also saves you money over time. By using a reusable water bottle, you avoid the constant need to purchase single-use plastic bottles, which not only end up in landfills but also harm wildlife and the oceans. Instead, you can enjoy clean and safe drinking water while reducing your carbon footprint and protecting the planet. So, make the switch today and start doing your part to create a sustainable future.


Say No to Single-Use Plastic Bottles

Refusing single-use plastic bottles is an easy and effective way to reduce plastic waste. Every time you choose tap water or a refillable bottle instead of a plastic bottle, you’re making a positive impact on the environment. By opting for tap water or a refillable bottle, you’re not only reducing the amount of plastic waste you produce but also saving money in the long run. So, whenever you have the option, make the choice to refuse single-use plastic bottles and choose a more sustainable alternative. This small change can go a long way in protecting our planet and creating a better future for generations to come.

Recycle Used Plastic Bottles

If you do find yourself using plastic bottles, it’s important to recycle them properly to minimize their impact on the environment. Most recycling programs accept plastic bottles, and some even provide incentives for recycling them. By recycling plastic bottles, you’re helping to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Furthermore, recycled plastic can be used to make new products, reducing the need for new materials and conserving natural resources. So, make sure to recycle your plastic bottles, and if possible, participate in programs that offer incentives for recycling.

Shop with a Purpose

When shopping, it’s always important to consider the effect it has on the environment. When looking for products, try to find ones that are packaged in more sustainable materials such as glass or aluminum. This can be challenging at times, but looking for stores that prioritize reducing plastic waste is a great place to start. Avoid purchasing items with excessive packaging—it not only helps reduce waste, but could also save you money in the long run. Yes, making sustainable choices takes extra time and effort, but being mindful of what we buy and how it’s packaged can make a real difference for our planet!

Educate Others

Share your passion for the environment with others by explaining the potential consequences of using single-use plastics and encouraging your friends, family and coworkers to join you in minimizing plastic bottle waste. Share useful tips on easy adjustments that can be made to help them build healthier habits in their daily lives – buying reusable water bottles, carrying bags made of sustainable materials and making deliberate choices when purchasing groceries. Doing so will not only help protect our planet, but also help foster community awareness on sustainable practices and lifestyles that can be adapted across different households.


Support Community Initiatives

Getting involved in local initiatives and programs aimed at reducing plastic waste is a great way to have a positive impact on the environment. These initiatives can include beach clean-up events, campaigns to promote the use of reusable containers, or programs to recycle plastic waste. By participating in these events, you can help to clean up the local environment and raise awareness about the dangers of plastic waste.

An excellent example of a local initiative to reduce plastic waste is the Carocell Water community in Indonesia. This community utilizes innovative solar water purification technology to produce safe and high-quality drinking water from a variety of sources, including seawater, groundwater, contaminated water, and rainwater. The technology is powered by the sun, allowing it to operate completely off the grid. By providing access to clean drinking water, the Carocell Water community is helping to minimize the amount of plastic bottle waste generated in Indonesia. The adoption of this technology not only reduces plastic waste but also promotes sustainability and protects the environment. This innovative solution serves as a model for other communities looking to reduce their plastic waste and find more sustainable ways to meet their needs.

Tirta Murni Nusantara

Jalan Penestanan, Sayan,

Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, 80571

+ 62 821 4645 0217


AHU-0020799.AH.01.04 Tahun 2022

Berita Negara No 080 Tahun 2022

Akta Notaris
no 09, 30 September 2022

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