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Jayapura Vice Mayor: “Trash is Our Joint War”

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Participants in the beach clean-up action pick up disposable plastic bottle rubbish at Hechnuk Beach, Jayapura City, Papua Province, on Friday (4/12/2020).

At about 6 in the morning at Eastern Indonesia Time,  a number of communities assembled at Hechnuk Beach in Jayapura, Papua. Then, Jayapura Mayor Rustan Saru opened the Beach Clean Up event in Jayapura on 4 December 2020. In his speech, Rustan appreciated and thanked all parties involved in the execution of beach cleanup action.

“Trash is our joint war. When rain stops, we rush out of home, we see trash. When we ride on a boat, we pick debris from sea. I am proud of this event. Thank you,” said Rustan.

Hechnuk Beach is the ecotourism managed by Eugenes, a resident of Engross Village, Abepura District, Jayapura City. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of Holtekamp Red Bridge connecting Jayapura City and Skouw on Papua New Guinea border.

Unfortunately, the beauty of coastal ecotourism spot has been degraded by trash. It comes from the visitors and mostly from debris deriving from the local market waste on the coastline. Two kilometers away from the beach, there is Hamadi Market in which vendors selling vegetables, fish, staple food, handicraft and souvenirs. Usually, people dispose of their food and beverage wastes to the ocean. 

“Usually the visitors bring the trash here or sometimes it comes from the nearby Hamadi Market,” said Eugenes. 

For the reason, EcoNusa Foundation in collaboration with some institutions, local communities and student groups conducted beach cleanup at Hechnuk Beach and Holtekamp Beach. The event marked the series of Sail to Campus held in the three universities in Jayapura, namely Cenderawasih University, Yapis Papua University and Jayapura Science and Technology University on 11 -19 November 2020. The event was attended by EcoNusa Foundation CEO, Bustar Maitar. 

There were around 200 peoples in that morning beach cleanup. Some institutions, community and students groups attending in the event were students of Cenderawasih University, Yapen University, Jayapura Science and Technology University, Ottow Geissler University, Rumah Bakau Community, Diving Community and Earth Hour Community. Besides, the Navy Base (Lamtamal) X Jayapura and Jayapura’s Environment Office and Tourism Office also gave support to the event.

The 2-hour activity could collect 515 kilograms of trash consisting of 269 kilograms of plastic bottle, 74 kilograms of glass bottle, and 174 kilograms of mix waste such as plastic bags, cooking oil wrap, rice wrap and fast-food wrap. 

The large amount of plastic waste collection here evidently showed that single-used plastic takes long time to be recycled. It is regrettable when the natural beauty should be contaminated by the single-used plastics.  

“We have to minimize the use of single-used plastics due to the less degradable. I urge myself not to use plastic so that trash does not pollute the beach here. We’d better bring our own bottle from home,” said Saneraro Rumere, a Beach Cleanup participant.

Editor: Leo Wahyudi & Lutfy Mairizal Putra

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