Expert: Wonorejo Mangrove becomes garbage dump, really?

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Lately there has been a lot of talk about plastic pollution around the world. Indonesia also attracts attention, because it is listed as the second largest plastic user in the world.

As one of the second largest metropolitan cities in Indonesia, Surabaya residents also use plastics in their daily activities. Then, where are all the plastic waste? Are all the waste managed properly?

The fact shows no more than 50% of plastic waste is managed properly. Most of the plastic waste that does not get proper treatment ends up in the river. The river will carry the plastic waste to the sea.

The estuary area or river estuary is one of the plastic waste dumps carried by the river. Why? Because estuary is a place where the river connects to the sea.

Manual cleaning is one of the main solutions to prevent plastic waste from becoming micro-plastic which has a higher level of pollution hazard than macro-plastics. Cleaning can be carried out effectively when most waste gathers in an accumulated spot.

One of the factors that influence the accumulation of plastic waste in estuaries is the tides. Tides can bring plastic waste floats back to the estuary region.

To understand this, UNAIR Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) lecturer Muhammad Fauzul Imron, S.T., M.T. and Setyo Budi Kurniawan, S.T., M.T., conducted a study entitled The effect of tidal fluctuation on the accumulation of plastic debris in the Wonorejo River Estuary, Surabaya , Indonesia.

The research was carried out in the Wonorejo River estuary by taking 3 sampling locations, right at the mouth of the Wonorejo River, 250 m and 500 m horizontally from the mouth of Wonorejo River.

The results showed that the tides had a significant impact on the accumulation of plastic waste in estuaries. There are more plastic waste dumps during high tide conditions.

“Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE) plastic types are found the most among other types of plastic. The geological condition of the sampling location also has a significant effect on the pattern of plastic waste dumps, “said Setyo Budi.

From the analysis results, it was found that the location in form of a basin tends to accumulate more plastic waste. Sampling locations at the mouth of the river showed the least accumulation of plastic waste due to the influence of the river flow that is strong enough to carry plastic waste to the sea waters.

This condition is preliminary evidence that the management of plastic waste in Surabaya is not yet optimal. The results of this study provided a preliminary description that one of the tourist sites in Surabaya, the Wonorejo Mangrove, has become a place for plastic waste accumulation carried by the Wonorejo River.

Author: Fariz Ilham Rosyidi

Editor  : Nuri Hermawan

Link of the journal paper      : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352186419301671

Setyo Budi Kurniawan dan Muhammad Fauzul Imron. The effect of tidal fluctuation on the accumulation of plastic debris in the Wonorejo River Estuary, Surabaya, Indonesia. Environmental Technology & Innovation, Volume 15, Halaman 100420

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