Waste collection project in the megacity Bekasi over a period of three years:
Munich-Garching/Neckarsulm/Jakarta, November 13, 2019 – The environmental organization One Earth – One Ocean e.V. (OEOO) together with the Schwarz Group (Lidl, Kaufland) and PT Wasteforchange Alam Indonesia (W4C), a local specialist for waste and recycling management in Java/Indonesia, is launching a joint river cleaning project in the Indonesian megacity Bekasi east of Jakarta in spring 2020. With the Schwarz Group, an internationally leading German group in the fields of trade, production and recycling with approx. 430,000 employees worldwide and more than 12,100 branches and specialist stores in 30 countries, OEOO has gained a strong partner who is aware of its responsibility for the environment and actively fulfils this responsibility in its international plastics strategy REset Plastic, also by eliminating plastic waste from the environment. The joint project will initially run for three years. The project is managed by OEOO.
“We are very pleased to have gained a strong partner in the Schwarz Group to start another waste collection and river cleaning project in Asia in spring 2020 after our project in Battambang/Cambodia”, explains Günther Bonin, founder and chairman of the environmental organisation One Earth – One Ocean e.V. “In addition to financing the entire project, which also includes the SeeHamster collection catamarans and other equipment, training for those involved in the project and recycling the collected plastics, the Schwarz Group is also contributing its recycling expertise. The project is also supported by the local government in Bekasi”.
“For a sound plastics strategy, it is important to take a holistic approach. For this reason, we have defined five fields of action at REset Plastic, the plastics strategy of the Schwarz Group: prevention, design, recycling, disposal as well as innovation and education” says Anja Köllner, overall project manager of REset Plastic. “With this field of action, we want to contribute to preventing plastic waste from entering the environment and to eliminating plastic waste from the environment and recycling it professionally. Through our cooperation with OEOO, we support the disposal of plastic in one of the most affected countries”.
With the help of SeeHamster ships, special waste collection catamarans designed by OEOO for inland waters and rivers, the rivers around the metropolis of Bekasi, which are heavily polluted with (plastic) waste, are to be cleaned section by section. “We are pleased to realize our first project in Indonesia together with the Schwarz Group and W4C. Together it is our goal to collect the waste before it can reach the sea,” says Dr. Harald Frank, project manager of OEOO, about the planned cooperation. “In order to avoid emissions, we are using SeeHamsters for the first time in this cleaning project, which are equipped with an electric drive that can be charged via photovoltaics.”
from left to right: Lennart Rölz, OEOO, Dr. Ir. Safari Burhannuddin, Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Dr. Rahmat Effendi, Vice Mayor Bekasi City Government, M. Bijaksana Junerosano, Founder & CEO of PT. Wasteforchange Alam Indonesia, Hannah Carina Nicklas, Schwarz Zentrale Dienste KG, Benedikt Kohout, GreenCycle GmbH, Office Hong Kong, Dr. Harald Frank, Consultant OEOO and Head of the Project
There is much to do…
The industrial metropolis Bekasi, about 40 kilometers southeast of Jakarta’s center, has about 2.9 million inhabitants (2018) and is located in one of the areas with the highest environmental pollution in Indonesia. Bantar Gebang is Indonesia’s largest garbage dump, to which most of the waste from Jakarta has been transported since the beginning of the 1990s. The surrounding area is also home to the Citarum, allegedly the “world’s dirtiest river”, which is polluted mainly by chemicals from textile factories, but also by household waste and other waste. “Since there is neither a regulated waste collecting infrastructure nor running water, the river became not only a source of water for the residents, but also a dump. (…) In 2016, Greenpeace and other environmental groups joined forces and filed a class action suit against the Indonesian Ministry of the Environment. (…) In 2018, Indonesian President Joko Widodo promised that the Citarum would be restored to its original, healthy state within the next seven years. In 2025 the water should even be drinkable again. Nevertheless, until today the residents are only informed with simple signs that they are not allowed to dispose of household waste in the Citarum – and only a few adhere to the ban. This will not change until the authorities set up a proper garbage collection system.” (Source: https://www.vice.com/de/article/vb98b8/ich-habe-acht-jahre-lang-den-schmutzigsten-fluss-der-welt-fotografiert). Also the Cikeas River in Benkasi is extremely polluted with garbage and chemicals.
Marine litter cleanup
It is no longer necessary to emphasise that plastic waste in the waters of the world is one of the most serious environmental problems of our global society. It is estimated that over 140 million tonnes of plastic waste are already in the world’s oceans and that at least 10-15 million tonnes are added every year. Forecasts predict that by 2025 the amount of maritime waste will have doubled. The global annual damage caused by plastic waste in water is estimated by the UN at USD 13 billion. Long-term effects and consequential damage to humans, animals and ecosystems, especially from microplastics in the food chain, are not yet taken into account.
The non-profit organization One Earth – One Ocean e.V. (OEOO), based in Munich and Kiel/Germany, has therefore been developing its concept of “marine litter cleanup” for the collection of plastic waste from inland waters and oceans since 2011. The concept of ” marine litter cleanup” provides for a fleet of special workboats with conveying equipment for collecting plastic waste in rivers, estuaries and coastal sea regions. The smallest unit of the “marine litter cleanup” are so-called ‘SeeHamster’, small catamarans about four meters long and two meters wide and a fold-down metal ramp with which plastic waste from rivers and inland waters is collected. In the meantime, the fifth improved generation of SeeHamster ships is already in operation; they have been in service in Germany and Cambodia so far and will now also be used in the project in Indonesia.
One Earth – One Ocean e. V. (OEOO)
The environmental organisation One Earth – One Ocean e.V. (OEOO), based in Munich-Garching and Kiel, aims to free water from plastic waste, oil and other pollutants. Already today the pollution of the seas with plastic waste has reached alarming proportions. If we do not take countermeasures, the weight of plastic waste will exceed that of fish by 2050, according to a UN study.
OEOO has therefore been working since 2011 on the implementation and testing of its pilot concept for “marine litter cleanup”. The founder of OEOO is Günther Bonin, former owner of a successful IT company and a passionate sailor since his youth. His concept is divided into several stages: In a first step, the plastic waste is collected by special collection ships on waterways. Sorting and bundling of the waste takes place on board a converted multi-purpose freighter, recycling is carried out by disposers on land. Recyclable plastics are pressed into single-variety plastic bales. Plastic waste is also to be converted into energy and oil in the future.
What initially sounded like an idealist’s utopia is now taking on concrete forms. Collection ships of various sizes are now in operation in the Baltic Sea, Hong Kong and Cambodia. A feasibility study for the SeeElefant pilot system was presented in spring 2019 and is to be completed by 2021. Well-known companies and private individuals, including Röchling Stiftung GmbH, Schwarz Group, Deutsche Telekom AG and Daimler AG, support OEOO in different ways.
In 2013, OEOO was awarded the renowned GreenTec Award, Europe’s largest environmental and business prize, for its marine litter cleanup concept. In 2016, it was nominated for the first time for the German Bundespreis ecodesign, the highest award for ecological design in Germany. In 2018, the association was nominated for the Ocean Tribute Award by Prince Albert II of Monaco, which honours the most innovative and sustainable ideas on marine conservation. In 2019 Günther Bonin/OEOO received the Special Prize of the Gruner & Jahr Spa Award as well as the German Bundespreis ecodesign for its SeeElefant concept.
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The Schwarz Group
The Schwarz Group is a leading international trading company with around 430,000 employees worldwide, over 12,100 branches and specialist stores in 30 countries. In fiscal 2018, it generated sales of 104.3 billion euros. The Schwarz Group, based in Neckarsulm, Baden-Württemberg, is made up of the Lidl and Kaufland retail divisions.
In addition to the trading business, the Schwarz Group has continuously expanded its portfolio to include production capacities for food. These include MEG Mitteldeutsche Erfrischungsgetränke and own brands in the baked goods and ice cream sectors.
For many years, the Schwarz Group has been involved in the collection, sorting and recycling of recyclable materials. The PreZero sales brand is the Group-wide disposal and recycling service provider for this purpose.
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