One of Mudfish No Plastic’s outreach programs is to provide underprivileged Indonesian communities with information about the problem and practical solutions. Although Mudfish No Plastic targets children in remote villages there is less awareness about the impact of single-use plastics we believe that when the children are educated about the problem they take that information home to their parents, and by extension to the entire community.
Indonesia is the world’s second-largest plastic polluter in the world. Indonesia generates approximately 7.8 million tons of plastic waste annually. 4.9 million tons of plastic waste is mismanaged—e.g., uncollected, disposed of in open dumpsites or leaked from improperly managed landfills. The country does not have a proper waste management system. Illegal dumping, burning, and unsorted waste are common practices in local villages. The majority of Indonesians lack awareness of the problem. Another problem that we face in Indonesia is when people throw their plastic waste, for example on roads or other public places, it is thought that these places do not belong to them, but belong to the government. The main factor that causes this problem to always occur is a sense of responsibility from the community that has not yet grown. The strongest power to prevent this is ourselves.
Our educational program consists of four 2-½ hour workshops that provide a holistic view of the single-use plastic problem and its connection to our health and environment. The workshops include instructional lessons, quizzes, arts and crafts activities (coloring, and designing tote bags), video screenings, and area clean-ups.
As part of the series of workshops that we provide we include a “clean-up action” that involves the entire community in a fun parade with a giant mobile fish-shaped trash container that is filled with discarded plastic found on the roads, woods, fields, and beaches. In the short term, the clean-up removes large amounts of trash from the environment, in the long term it makes the participants aware of how their careless disposal of plastic waste has scarred their community, and how much better it looks when the trash has been removed. In the past few years, Mudfish no plastic has collected up to 20.4 tons of plastic waste.