SIMA is on a mission to create innovative ways to turn plastic waste into a currency in the countries that need it the most.

The challenge

 

Around 8 million tons of plastic are ending up in the oceans every year. Over 80% of the it is entering the oceans from land-based sources – that is rivers, coastlines, beaches. Of this, more than half comes from just five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. The UN estimated that if we continue with this pattern, by 2050 99% of seabirds will have ingested plastic. Human lives are also impacted by a lack of waste management. The UNDP asserted that a lack of waste management serves as a breeding ground for diseases, promotes urban violence and affects people’s livelihoods.

The recent economic boom in Asia has driven up the need for safe and disposable products – yet waste management systems are either underdeveloped or non-existent.

Indonesia is the world’s second-largest plastic polluter, after China. About 1 million tons of plastic leak into the oceans every year. This has a significant impact on public health, local economies – fishing and tourism – and the environment.

Experts assert that introducing cost-effective waste management solutions to the world’s largest plastic polluters could dramatically reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the oceans while improving the lives of the people living in these communities.

 

The vision

 

Around 100 million people in Indonesia alone still have no access to waste services. It’s an almost impossibly expensive task to reach these people with the centralised waste systems and networks we have in place today.

We have been working to create a waste collection network in West Sumatra that captures ocean-bound plastic and reintroduces it into the loop as raw materials. In partnership with ethical adventure retail brands, we aim to turn these materials into product accessories that would otherwise be made from virgin plastic.

In other words, we want to find an ongoing, valuable and long-lasting use for ocean-bound plastic in collaboration with like-minded brands.

 


Photos by Jax Oliver.