Plastic Waste increases during large scale social restrictions and work from home period

In the midst of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) and the work from home (WFH) period, many prefer to shop online rather than come to supermarkets or traditional markets.

The government has urged people to stay at home and reduce outdoor activities. However, online shopping and food delivery services have contributed to an increase of plastic waste.

The study was conducted by the Oceanographic Research Center and the LIPI Population Research Center with the title ‘The Impact of PSBB and WFH on Plastic Waste in the JABOTABEK area”.

Survey results show that online shopping produces the most waste.

“We conducted this survey nationally, especially in six provinces with Covid-19 cases with the relatively high use of delivery services such as in Java, Bali, South Sulawesi and West Sumatra,” said Intan Suci Nurhati Ph.D from the Oceanographic Research Center  and the LIPI Population Research Center.

As much as 96 percent of packages are wrapped in thick plastic plus bubble wrap. Masking tape, plastic wrap, and bubble wrap are the most commonly found plastic wrappers.

Tips for environmentally friendly online shopping

Intan mentioned that there are at least six tips for online shopping that are environmentally friendly:

  1. Support sellers and products without plastic wrapping
  2. Ask the seller to reduce plastic wrap
  3. Buy goods in large packages, or combine groceries in one purchase/ one bag
  4. Reuse plastic wrap after cleaning
  5. Sort out plastic waste for recycling
  6. Buy goods from a closer location, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What about the sellers?  Intan said, at present a handful of sellers have shown the initiative to ship their products with non-plastic packaging such as cardboard, paper, biodegradable plastic, and so on.

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