USAID Helps Semarang City to Tackle Plastic Waste with a $5 Million Project

Arfi Bambani
Illustration: Pandemic waste found on the street of Sampit, Central Kalimantan
Illustration: Pandemic waste found on the street of Sampit, Central Kalimantan - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has selected Semarang city, Central Java, for its "Clean Cities, Blue Ocean" program under which the city will get financing to reduce plastic waste flowing into the ocean.

The program is a commitment from the US government to various private parties, USAID Indonesia mission director Jeffery P. Cohen said while signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Semarang city government, in Semarang, on Wednesday. For the “Clean Cities, Blue Ocean” program, USAID will also collaborate with investment management company Circulate Capital and a plastic recycling company called Prevented Ocean Plastic Asia, he informed.

"This program will be financed with mixed financing involving the government, the private sector, and the society," he said.

According to Cohen, Semarang was selected for the program as it is the capital of Central Java and a business and tourism destination and it is facing a plastic waste problem, just like other cities in Indonesia. Overall, funding to the tune of US$5 million will be provided for the plastic waste pollution reduction program, he informed.

However, Cohen asked that rather than the investment needed for the program, attention be paid to the results that will be obtained in the next few years.

Meanwhile, the assistant for government affairs of the Semarang city administration, Muhammad Khadiq, lauded the concern over the threat of plastic waste pollution in Central Java's capital. He said the potential waste produced daily in Semarang city has reached 1,200 tons.

"If only 10 percent is taken (acquired), then there is about 120 tons of plastic waste every day," he informed.

Meanwhile, some of the Semarang city government's efforts to reduce plastic waste have been carried out, such as the ban on the use of plastic bags in modern stores, Khadiq informed.

Tag # plastic waste # indonesia plastic waste # semarang city # indonesia biodiversity

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