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Environmental activist Aeshnina urges Canada's Justin Trudeau to stop exporting plastic waste to Indonesia

Tempo - April 28, 2024

Rachel Farahdiba Regar, Jakarta – On April 21, 2024, at 11:00 a.m., Aeshnina Azzahra Aqilani, the co Captain of Riverin (River Warrior Indonesia), joined the march to end the "plastic era" in Ottawa, Canada.

At the event, hundreds of environmental activists around the world were present to voice years of anxiety regarding plastic pollution which is wreaking havoc on communities and the global environment. The bad impact of the plastic police is triggered by the interests of fossil fuel companies.

At the end of the parade, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault met the participants and Aeshnina, who is familiarly called Nina. They both had the opportunity to have a dialogue.

"In 2020, I sent a letter of protest asking Canada to stop sending plastic waste to Indonesia to the Canadian PM (Justin Trudeau), but until now my letter has not been answered," said Nina to Steven Guilbeault, on April 21, 2024.

Furthermore, Nina revealed that until now there is still a lot of plastic waste from Canada which is used as fuel. Nina hopes that the Canadian government will stop sending plastic waste to ASEAN countries.

"Please answer my letter and please stop exporting plastic waste to Indonesia and other developing countries," said Nina.

This Class 11 SMAMIO Gresik student expressed concern about the impact of pollution from the recycling of plastic waste from Canada carried out by the paper and plastic recycling factory at her location.

"Recycling plastic waste is not a solution because we found that the recycling industry dumps liquid waste polluting rivers which are the raw material for our drinking water, microplastics in river water also pollute our food chain," said Nina.

Throughout 2023, Nina and the Riverin Team discovered several things related to the processing of imported waste in East Java, namely:

1. Piles of imported waste in the villages of Gresik, Sidoarjo, Mojokerto and Malang Regencies (East Java). Apart from that, there is a large build-up inside the PT Indah Kiat Paper Factory in Kragilan Serang, Banten. These dumps have the potential to pollute underground water, air microplastic contamination and dioxin pollution.

2. The activity of burning imported plastic waste as fuel for making tofu and limestone.

3. There is a high amount of microplastic waste, namely more than 11 recycled paper industries made from imported waste, dumping liquid waste into the Brantas River which is used as raw material for drinking water, rice field irrigation and fish ponds.

4. Microplastic contamination of water, sediment, biota or seafood.

"On behalf of the Prime Minister, I will immediately reply to Nina's letter," said Steven Guilbeault.

Through the Canadian Prime Minister of the Environment, the Canadian Government acknowledged that there are still illegal exports of plastic waste to Indonesia. Steven also expressed his gratitude for the efforts made by Nina in fighting plastic waste. Currently, the Canadian Government is trying to make improvements.

Sending letters to three presidential candidates

Nina has also sent letters to three presidential candidates of Indonesia, namely Anies Baswedan, Prabowo Subianto and Ganjar Pranowo.

"Aeshnina's letter is an expression of Gen Z's heart so that the elected presidential candidates care about environmental sustainability," said the Executive Director of the Institute for Ecology and Wetland Conservation Studies or Ecoton and Nina's father, Prigi Arisandi, on January 20, 2024.

According to Nina, the aim of writing the letter was to open the presidential candidate's eyes about environmental damage, especially in East Java. He wants the presidential candidate to take real action to protect Indonesia's earth from damage, especially handling single-use plastic waste.

Sending a letter to Trump

Previously, in 2019, Nina wrote a letter to the President of United States Donald Trump protesting against the U.S. for throwing rubbish into Indonesia.

"I demand that America stop throwing its rubbish into Indonesia, they must recycle their own rubbish and call for 'take back your rubbish'," said Aeshnina.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1861605/environmental-activist-aeshnina-urges-canadas-justin-trudeau-to-stop-exporting-plastic-waste-to-indonesi