Prevented Ocean Plastic has opened a high-capacity recycled plastic collection centre in Makassar, Indonesia, in partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Makassar is in Sulawesi, an island province difficult to access logistically, which makes it particularly vulnerable to plastic pollution.

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The new centre will develop efficient waste management infrastructure, helping to address growing volumes of waste in the region, create reliable income opportunities and support the supply of certified and traceable premium quality recycled plastic to global markets. It is expected to process 500 tonnes of plastic waste per month and provide 50 direct jobs to local people.

Funding for the centre came from USAID’s Clean Cities Blue Ocean initiative and follows the model of Prevented Ocean Plastic’s collection centre in Semarang, Indonesia, also funded by USAID.

The centre marks UN World Oceans Day 2024’s theme “Awaken New Depths”, which aims to motivate widespread momentum for the ocean.

Since announcing its “25 by 2025” mission last year, Prevented Ocean Plastic has added 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste collection capacity per year through new builds, taking it almost halfway to the project’s potential capacity of 54,000 tonnes.

Prevented Ocean Plastic director Raffi Schieir commented: “Indonesia is ranked the number two source for ocean plastic pollution. With USAID’s support, we are hoping to address some of the logistical obstacles of the region and help clean up the environment.”

USAID lead ocean plastics and urban advisor Clare Romanik added: “This partnership demonstrates the power of blended finance as a model to scale solutions to the plastic crisis.”

Zubaidah, a bottle collector in Indonesia who has become a business owner via Prevented Ocean Plastic South East Asia, said: “I started my business by asking other collectors at the Prevented Ocean Plastic training to join me. I know they work hard and I wanted to appreciate their work with a fair price.”