Empowering communities in Indonesia to implement circular solutions

Indonesia is home to two of the world’s most polluted (and polluting) rivers, and much of that waste is comprised of single-use diapers. In collaboration with the Governor of East Java and other key partners, we’re helping local women make and sell reusable diapers in their communities, while raising awareness of the serious health issues surrounding plastic waste.

The rivers in East Java are overflowing with plastic waste, which is affecting the health and livelihoods of millions of people. The problem is getting worse: over 80% of the country’s cities will run out of landfill space within the next three years. In response, the Government has committed to reducing plastic and other marine pollution by 70% by 2025.

Common Seas is supporting the Government to deliver its National Action Plan. Our focus is on dramatically reducing the use of single-use diapers, which currently make up 50% of the plastic waste found in local waterways.

We are training local seamstresses to make and sell reusable diapers, quickly reaching thousands of families through existing networks and rapidly reducing the amount of diaper waste entering the river. In collaboration with the Governor of East Java and PC Muslimat (a 40-million strong women’s charity), the project is now scaling from a successful pilot to country-wide implementation.

Beyond the health and environmental benefits, this project offers training and employment to women and the disadvantaged, as well as cost savings to any families that choose reusable diapers for their children. All profits will subsidise diapers for local communities and contribute to projects to stop plastic pollution in Indonesia.

To find out more about Common Seas’ on-the-ground work, explore our website or check out these case studies from the Maldives and Greece

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