Indonesian Activists Create Museum Made From Plastic Waste

Mar 04, 2022by Olivia - F&F

To raise awareness of Indonesia’s plastic pollution crisis, a group of environmental activists have created a museum made from 10,000 single-use plastic items!

Indonesia’s Plastic Waste Museum 

In Gresik, Indonesia, the team at ECOTON (Ecological Observation & Wetlands Conservation) have created an outdoor museum that’s made entirely of plastic waste. It took three years to collect the plastic waste from Indonesia's polluted rivers and beaches, and another three months to assemble the entire outdoor exhibition! 

The museum is already attracting a fair amount of attention on social media — thousands of suspended water bottles make for an unforgettable selfie spot! But, the museum’s founder, Prigi Arisandi, hopes the display will remind people to stop using single-use plastics.

"Starting today, we should stop consuming single-use plastic because it will pollute our ocean, which is also our source of food," said Arisandi.

Prigi Arisandi Indonesia Plastic MuseumPrigi Arisandi Indonesia Plastic Museum

The Centrepiece Is A Goddess Made From Single-Use Sachets

The museum features a few different displays which highlight different challenges within the scope of plastic pollution. Amazingly, every single piece of the museum — all 10,000 pieces — was fished out of nearby rivers and beaches, cleaned by the ECOTON team, and made into unique structures. 

‘Terowongan 4444’ tunnel was constructed with thousands of disposable plastic bottles, and as you can see from the images, it’s becoming a very popular selfie spot! Another attraction is the enormous statue of Dewi Sri, the Javanese goddess of prosperity. Her long skirt is made from single-use sachets, which represents a large source of single-use plastics.

Local student, Ayu, feels sad looking at so much waste and says he will be buying reusables.

Indoenesia Plastic PollutionIndoenesia Plastic Pollution

Indonesia’s Plastic Pollution Crisis 

Did you know that Indonesia is the second-largest contributor of ocean plastic waste in the world? Currently, only around 39 per cent of the total plastic waste in Indonesia is collected, and in rural areas, this figure is as low as 16 per cent. It’s estimated that the amount of plastic flowing into our oceans could triple by 2040 to a whopping 29 million metric tonnes per year.

Sadly, for many Indonesians, their only choice is to use single-use plastics — especially in the case of freshwater, where the safest option is to consume it out of a single-use bottle. 

We know that structural change is required in Indonesia to fix the plastic pollution problem. Access to waste services is paramount, but secondary to that, Indonesian communities need the right education once waste services are in place.

For Purpose Recycling BeltsFor Purpose Recycling Belts

These Recycled Plastic Belts Help Coastal Communities In Indonesia!

Luckily, there are some amazing not-for-profits turning things around in Indonesia! For Purpose Recycling (FPR) — created by Aussie sustainability expert, Erik Sumarkho — have created a recycled plastic belt that prevents 10kg of plastic waste from entering our oceans.

Crucially, FPR’s initiative helps to provide waste collection, recycling infrastructure, income opportunities and critical support to coastal communities in Indonesia that do not have access to basic waste services. They’re also working on providing educational workshops too.

These beautiful, vibrant belts are available in Blue, Orange, Black and Green. The profits from the sale of a single FPR belt funds the collection of 10kg of ocean-bound plastic waste! 

What do you think of this plastic waste museum? It’s frightening to think that all 10,000 pieces of the single-use plastic used to assemble the exhibition were fished out of Indonesia’s rivers and beaches. It’s a visual reminder that Indonesia’s reliance on single-use plastic needs to end, but more importantly, it shows that the nation’s waste collection services must be improved. 

We love seeing the intersection between art and environmental activism! If you’d like to see more examples, head to the Eco News category and take a look at the blogs below. 

UK Beach Clean-Up Group Hosts Eye-Opening Plastic Waste Exhibition

This Underwater Sculpture Park Is Attracting Marine Life

Nespresso Are Recycling Your Used Coffee Capsules Into Art

More Articles