The Intractable Challenge

Indonesia is a dynamic and progressive country of over 264 million people, yet its waste management sector collects only 39% of all solid waste generated, with even less recycled. Added to this, community responses to the build-up of plastic waste and inappropriate management, such as open burning, are exacerbating impacts on air quality and human health and wellbeing.

In 2017, the Indonesian Government introduced an ambitious plan to reduce marine plastic debris by 70% by 2025. In March 2019, Indonesia joined forces with the public-private partnership Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) to translate this political and corporate commitment into the National Plastics Action Plan (NPAP). The aim of the NPAP is to achieve reduction targets through a circular economy approach that may be used an example to be adapted and implemented in other countries.

Progress in reducing plastic pollution across Indonesia’s 17,000 islands and 80,000 villages is, however, hampered by many social, behavioural, economic, political and infrastructural challenges, driven by multiple linked human decisions and practices, that are not easily disentangled into specific, manageable problems. To increase the likelihood of success, a deep understanding of each individual factor is needed, as well as of the various relationships that link them together.

The PISCES Solution

To address this challenge, and to complement and inform both national and global efforts, the PISCES programme is a comprehensive interdisciplinary scientific research and innovation programme that brings political, environmental, economic, technical and social disciplines together to understand and address the causes of failures, rather than treating the symptoms.

The PISCES partnership directly connects our research with the work of our action delivery partners, who will directly absorb and apply our research outputs and findings as the much needed evidence base for functional preventive solutions.

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