Clean Blue East Java

We are supporting East Java to radically reduce its plastic pollution, with a focus on stopping the flow of single-use diapers into the Brantas River.

Read on to find out how our local team is working with the Indonesian Government, the country’s largest women’s group, and hundreds of volunteers to drive new policy, invest in the circular economy and create a cultural shift in how the region makes, uses and disposes of plastic.

East Java is a province of Indonesia. It’s home to almost 40 million people, about half of whom live along the banks of the Brantas River. The Brantas provides the region with 98% of its drinking water, but it is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The Indonesian Government has pledged to clean up the river and to reduce the annual flow of 40,000 tonnes of plastic into the sea by 70% by 2025.

Clean Blue East Java brings together a ground-breaking partnership between the Governor of East Java, PC Muslimat and Universitas Airlangga.

“The Brantas river is the lifeblood of East Java, but it is full of pollution – particularly plastic items. We all depend on the river for our lives, so there is a lot of demand to make things better. East Java Provincial Government is collaborating with different parties to find a solution. Clean Blue East Java is one of these and has my full support. Khofifah Indar Parawansa
Governor of East Java

The project started by identifying single-use diapers as the most prolific plastic waste item in the river – at least 1.5 million enter its waters every day, representing about half of all plastic waste in the Brantas.

As a result of this insight, Clean Blue East Java is initially focusing on radically reducing the use of single-use diapers across the region. We’re doing this by creating a market for reusable diapers, improving the management of diaper waste, and cleaning up existing waste hotspots along the river. Our reusable diaper initiative will employ 600 local women and stop 29,200,000 diapers entering the Brantas every year.

We are already piloting the project in several communities along the river, with demand for it to scale to seven regencies along the Brantas in 2021.

How it works

Investigate Intervene Influence

Investigate

Identify waste streams and leakage.


  • We’re developing a standardised approach to impact assessment for local people to use. This will involve collecting data from social surveys and river booms.
  • Using Plastic Drawdown, we have conducted a review of the local policy landscape and identified opportunities for targeted interventions.
  • Alongside the World Economic Forum, we presented this analysis to Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan
  • Health is a powerful motivator for cultural change. In line with Healthy Me, Healthy Sea, we are investigating whether diaper pollution is a vector for pathogens.

Intervene

Invest in, incubate and accelerate solutions.

  • There are currently no reusable diapers on the market in East Java that are accessible, cost-competitive and attractive. We are implementing a reusable diaper programme, creating demand for these diapers and supporting local entrepreneurs to supply them.
  • There is little incentive to recycle diaper waste – either formally or informally. It’s high volume, hard to manage and low value. We are launching a series of resource management initiatives to pilot the separate collection of diaper waste, while we seek investment into closed-loop diaper resource management.

Influence

Replicate and scale best practice.

  • We’re working with P.C. Muslimat, the region’s largest women’s charity, to trial and roll out our reusable diaper initiative.
  • We’re providing educational resources to schools and community groups to raise awareness and embed behaviour change.
  • We’re working with a local team to deliver a behaviour change billboard campaign which will target the disposal of single-use diapers into waterways.
  • We’re convening diaper brands to discuss and agree their role in managing waste.

Our Partners

Clean Blue East Java brings together a ground-breaking partnership between the Governor of East Java, PC Muslimat and Universitas Airlangga.

"I am impressed with the progress Clean Blue East Java has already achieved. Because they understand this problem, they are partnering with the right people and organisations to change things for the long term. I look forward to supporting them on this journey.”

Arzeti Bilbina MP
National Awakening Party Faction JAWA TIMUR

Get involved

We'd love to hear from you.

There are lots of ways to support Clean Blue East Java and Common Seas, and we are always on the lookout for new opportunities and project partners.


  • For a press enquiry or to explore a partnership, please get in touch with the local team on [email protected]
  • If you’d like to find out about using Clean Blue Alliance in your region, get in touch with Jo at [email protected]
  • To support our work, please head to our donate page.

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