The Indonesian Government has enlisted the country’s largest Islamic organisations in its campaign to reduce plastic waste, an official said on Friday.
The Ministry of the Environment earlier launched a movement to reduce plastic waste with Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, the country’s largest and second largest Muslim groups with a combined membership of about 100 million.
“We hope that the involvement of NU and Muhammadiyah will make it a massive movement,’’ said the ministry’s director general for hazardous waste management, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati.
About 85 per cent of the country’s 260 million people follow Islam.
The country produces nearly nine million tons of plastic waste a year, Ratnawati said.
“The amount of plastic waste has continued to increase over the past 10 years,’’ she said.
Plastic bags are ubiquitous in Indonesia, with supermarkets and convenience stores giving plastic bags to shoppers at no charge.
Indonesia has vowed to reduce plastic waste in its waters by 70 per cent by 2025.
The problem of plastic waste attracted international attention in 2017 after a British diver filmed himself swimming with a sea of plastic rubbish off the resort island of Bali.
In the video posted on YouTube, Rich Horner was shown diving at Manta Point, a popular diving site in Nusa Penida, as plastic garbage was strewn all over the water.