Jakarta – Jakarta's sanitation workers seem to have found a way to contribute in the country's efforts to reduce plastic pollution – Indonesia's very own modern-day enemy – through creative ways that include turning the waste into handicrafts.
Officers from the Sanitation Implementation Unit (UPK) of the East Jakarta Water Agency Office recently started recycling the household trash they collected from the rivers.
One of the officers, Toni Anthoni, said on Wednesday that they fashioned the trash into trinkets and knickknacks.
"We could collect about 20 sacks of trash a day from the Duren Sawit River, so we thought it would be better to recycle the plastic waste into knickknacks," Toni said as quoted by Antara News Agency.
The officers brought the trash they collected from the river, including plastic bottles, bottle caps, plastic bags and styrofoam, to a sorting post, where they shredded it into small pieces.
"We don't have an automatic shredding machine, so we cut the trash manually using scissors," he said. The shredded plastic was then heated in a nonstick frying pan.
"We use vegetable oil to heat the plastics until they melt. The process takes about three minutes," he said.
They then pour the melted plastic into molds of various shapes, like apples, seashells, smiley emojis and animal faces. Seven grams of melted plastic could be turned into a 5-centimeter knickknack.
Toni explained that the officers are planning to sell the handicrafts as a side business. However, at the moment, he explained that they are still perfecting the design and the finishing touches.
"We only started the recycling project today and we had only made 10 trinkets. We still have to sand the trinkets and polish them to make them look better," he said. (nal)