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Greeneration Foundation Has Received 1 Million US Dollar Grant from Benioff Ocean Initiative and The Coca-Cola Foundation

Greeneration Foundation together with Waste4Change and RiverRecycle has been awarded a USD 1,000,000 (One Million US Dollar) grant for a pilot project in Citarum River, Indonesia. The donors of this project are the Benioff Ocean Initiative at UC Santa Barbara, and The Coca-Cola Foundation. The agreement of this project has been signed by Greeneration Foundation on 16th of March in 2020. This project will be running for three years. It was started in March 2020 and will be finished in January 2023.

Indonesia has a rich marine ecosystem, however waste pollution is still a problem that has not been solved.  The country with the other East West Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand highly contributes to the plastic pollution in the ocean, with volume 50% of the total plastic that exists in the ocean [1]. In 2010, Indonesia has generated mismanaged waste of around 3.22 Million Tons per Year, with an estimated 0.48 to 1.29 Million Metric Tons that get into the ocean [2]. The amount of the waste polluting the ocean is predicted to increase over the time if there is no intervention of a more responsible waste management system. Around 80% of waste in the oceans originates from the land that flows with the rivers [3]. Citarum River is chosen in this pilot project because it is one of the biggest rivers in Indonesia and it provides a service for flood regulation and water resources. Moreover, the long river flow has a potential to accumulate plastic waste flowing in the river and get into the ocean. Waste is one of the indicators that can be seen as a problem in Citarum River because flooding is still happening in the neighborhoods nearby the river. Currently, the central government together with the government of West Java province work in cleaning the river called Citarum Harum program. This pilot project is expected to support the government in improving the quality of the Citarum River.

Vanessa Letizia, the Executive Director of Greeneration Foundation, has a high expectation for the success of this pilot project. “We know that plastic waste management is a big problem in the Citarum River. We are really looking forward to starting this project with all the partners as part of the Clean Current Coalition. Our role in communication outreach within this project hopefully could benefit the community along the river to properly manage their plastic waste and could turn a better condition for Citarum River in the long run.”

The ultimate goal of this pilot project is to significantly reduce ocean plastic pollution by delivering river cleaning as a free service for affected communities. We will have two different approaches which are a technical and social approach to maximize the output of the project. The physical system will be deployed in Citarum River and it will trap the waste getting through the system. Afterwards, the waste will be sorted and segregated to know its composition and weight, particularly plastic waste. Moreover, the communities living around the river will be the main target audiences to our campaign on more responsible waste management.

Besides that, Benioff Ocean Initiative also has their own expectations of this project. “The Benioff Ocean Initiative has the opportunity to work with some of the world’s greatest problem-solvers when it comes to addressing environmental health challenges like the widespread plastic waste in our world’s waterways,” said Molly Morse, the Benioff Ocean Initiative’s plastics program lead. “We are thrilled to work with Greeneration Foundation and their partners to support this critical effort in the Citarum River to clean up plastic waste, create societal change, and build a sustainable and replicable model for waste management in Indonesia.”

Greeneration Foundation as an organization that focuses on environmental issues in Indonesia will be a project leader and a communication specialist within this project. Waste4Change will be a waste management expert and RiverRecycle will develop a physical system that will be used in this project. Besides that, we will cooperate with Deltares to conduct a study aimed to identify the best location of the Citarum River.

“Waste issues in Citarum have been a global focus for years. There are so many ideas as solutions for this issue, some of them have been implemented. As a company that manages waste responsibly, we believe that the key to the success of a program is sustainability. With the Clean Currents Coalition, Waste4Change is determined to give a holistic solution and to build the ecosystem so the waste management service can be better, thus no more waste gets into the river. I hope we can contribute positively to the marine debris with this program” – Mohamad Bijaksana Junerosano (Founder and Managing Director of Waste4Change).


[1] Jambeck et. al. 2015. Plastic Waste Inputs from Land Into The Ocean. Science. 13 February 2015. Vol 347, Issue 6223.

[2] The 2015 Jambeck Science study examined the volume of land-based 192 coastal countries (93% of the global population) and estimated that 2.5 billion metric tons of municipal solid waste was generated in 2010 by 6.4 billion people living in these countries (World Bank. 2018.  Indonesia Marine Debris Hotspot Synthesis Report. Accessed from http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/ 983771527663689822/pdf/126686-29-5-2018-14-18-6 SynthesisReportFullReportAPRILFINAL.pdf on 15th May 2020.

[3] Secretary Cabinet of Republic Indonesia. 2017. Aksi Untuk Mengatasi Sampah Laut, Persoalan Serius Nan Mengkhawatirkan. Accesed from https://setkab.go.id/aksi-untuk-mengatasi-sampah-laut-persoalan-serius-nan-mengkhawatirkan/ on 15th May 2020.

Greeneration Foundation (GF) is an NGO focusing on utilizing adaptive creative media in changing behavior to implement Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Indonesia. GF activities involve engaging with government, environmentally-focused organizations and communities, while also connecting to the broader community, ranging from individuals, children, professionals to housewives. Further information regarding our organization can be accessed through website https://greeneration.org/en/, Instagram @greenerationid and Twitter @greenerationid.

RiverRecycle (RR) is a company based in Helsinki, Finland. They have been developing a system that is effective at intercepting and cleaning plastic waste floating along the river. This system acts as the last line of defence to prevent the flow of mismanaged plastic into the ocean, and a system to measure the success of upstream actions on plastic pollution. RR is one of the leading companies working on the oil spill in the ocean, to produce a system that will be used in this pilot project. Further information regarding RiverRecycle can be accessed through website https://www.riverrecycle.com/, Instagram @river_recycle and Twitter @river_recycle.

Waste4Change (W4C) is a social enterprise that provides services in waste management with an environmentally friendly and responsible approach. Our work strives towards implementing the circular economy in Indonesia. Their strategic services business unit provides consultation, training, education and campaign programs about responsible waste management throughout Indonesia. While their operational services business unit facilitates waste collection in the segregated system and ensures the waste is processed responsibly by giving a journey report. Further information regarding Waste4Change can be accessed through website  https://waste4change.com/official/, Instagram @waste4change and Twitter @waste4change.

Deltares is a knowledge institution based in the Netherlands in the field of water and subsoil resources with expertise on hydrodynamics, hydrology, environmental research, software development, delta planning and community development. Further information regarding Deltares can be accessed through the website https://www.deltares.nl/en/, Instagram @delates and Twitter @deltares.

The following is the granters of this pilot project:

Benioff Ocean Initiative (BOI), based at the University of California Santa Barbara, works to ensure the future generations inherits a healthy ocean. They combine science, creativity and collaboration to achieve this goal. Further information regarding Benioff Ocean Initiative can be accessed through the website  https://boi.ucsb.edu/, Instagram @benioffoceaninitiative_ucsb and Twitter @UCSBenioffOcean.

The Coca-Cola Foundation is established by The Coca-Cola Company in the United States as a charity organization. Further information regarding The Coca-Cola Foundation can be accessed through the website https://www.coca-colacompany.com/, Instagram @cocacola and Twitter @cocacola.

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