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On the Frontline of Indonesia’s Plastic Waste Crisis

Date & Time

Mar. 30, 2021
9:00am – 10:15am ET


The numbers on Indonesia’s plastic waste challenge are sobering. Indonesia’s National Plastic Action Partnership estimates that only 10 percent of Indonesia’s yearly 6.8 million tons of plastic waste is recycled and nearly half is dumped or burned. Indonesia is responsible for 10 percent of global plastic leakage into the ocean, second only behind China.

Encouragingly, the Indonesian government has set up a collaborative action plan involving 16 ministries working to reduce marine plastic litter by 70 percent by 2025. The Indonesian government also partners with USAID on the front line of its plastic waste crisis. To date, USAID’s 30+ Municipal Waste Recycling Program grant recipients (seven of which are in Indonesia) have prevented thousands of tons of plastic from reaching the ocean, worked to support plastic pollution control laws, engaged and educated communities, and created equitable jobs.

Clare Romanik (USAID) will kick off this March 30th panel highlighting the accomplishments of USAID's Municipal Waste Recycling Program (MWRP) and the goals of USAID’s new program Clean Cities Blue Ocean. Swietenia Puspa Lestari (Divers Clean Action) will share how the MWRP has activated their youth-led plastic pollution clean-up movement. Moh. Nurhadi will share his story on how the Bintari Foundation has helped strengthen recycling policies in Semarang City and built profitable waste banks and neighborhood facilities to process collected waste and recover recyclable materials. April Crow will talk about her work at Circulate Capital investing in sustainable waste value chains and creating a “second life” for post-consumer plastic materials in Indonesia to attract the catalytic capital needed to help with this challenge.

Please direct audience questions to @WilsonCEF on Twitter or to

This meeting is part of the Turning the Tide on Plastic in Asia project, co-led by the China Environment Forum and Institute of Developing Economies. Made possible with support from the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership.


clare R

Clare Romanik

Senior Urban Specialist and Ocean Plastics Specialist at USAID

Moh Nurhadi

Knowledge Management & Business Development Manager at BINTARI Foundation

Swietenia Puspa Lestari

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Divers Clean Action

April Crow

Vice President Investor Relations & External Affairs, Circulate Capital

Hosted By

China Environment Forum

Since 1997, the China Environment Forum's mission has been to forge US-China cooperation on energy, environment, and sustainable development challenges. We play a unique nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around these issues.  Read more

Science and Technology Innovation Program

The Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) serves as the bridge between technologists, policymakers, industry, and global stakeholders.  Read more

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more

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