Pandawara Group has seen it all. The group of environmentally-conscious youngsters has made a name for themselves cleaning up some of the filthiest rivers in Indonesia, which they have regularly documented through viral videos on TikTok.
But the West Java-based group faced a new challenge recently: a beach they dubbed the "dirtiest" in Indonesia.
In their latest video, which was uploaded yesterday, they called on the public to join them in clean-up efforts of Teluk Beach in Labuan District, Pandeglang, Banten. The extent of the filth at this beach – where it's hard to even spot sand amid the waste – must be seen to be believed.
The group held community clean-up sessions at Labuan yesterday and today. On the first day, they were joined by locals as well as sanitation workers and heavy equipment courtesy of the Banten Public Works and Housing Agency (PUPR), who uploaded a video of the session on their own TikTok.
"After you've been asleep for so long, Pandawa finally woke you up," one user commented in the video.
It was just one of many comments on TikTok, as well as other social media platforms where Pandawara Group's video was reposted, accusing regional officials of turning a blind eye to the beach and other environmental concerns all this time.
The Pandeglang Environmental Agency, which at least had the decency to join yesterday's clean-up, said they were totally planning to sort out the beach themselves.
"We had coordinated with Labuan District, and we were going to clean up the beach [this month]. But [Pandawara] beat us to it," agency head Achmad Saepudin said yesterday, as quoted by Kompas.
Achmad added that his agency last cleaned up the beach in October 2022, but they have not been able to make this a routine due to limitations in equipment. He said that locals refused to pay for the administration's garbage pick-up service and resorted to tossing their waste on the beach.
The agency hopes that they can hold regular beach clean-ups in the future.