Towards Circularity: Plastics: Indonesia
Lives of wastepickers at the Cirendeu dump in Jakarta. Daily life is a struggle for the 70 families that live here, as many are migrants from other parts of Indonesia who came to Jakarta to earn a living collecting and selling recyclables.
Indonesia lacks a strong infrastructure for collecting and sorting trash from recyclables- thus wastepickers generate their income from finding and selling cardboard and certain types of plastics. Similar dynamics in other countries exist, and in some places like India and Brazil, wastepickers have formally organized to collect and sort waste to earn steadier incomes.
Though this hasn't happened yet at Cirendeu, initiatives such as the XS Project, seek to educate children of Jakarta's wastepickers and provide community support to mitigate the effects of poverty. For the first time, in 2017, two young women from the community attended college. XS also employs wastepickers to create products from unrecyclable plastics packaging to draw attention to the impacts of the burgeoning and unsustainable materials in our midst and the need for better recycling infrastructure or different packaging material choices.