End-of-life of plastics used in seaweed aquaculture in South Sulawesi

The increasing popularity of seaweed farming in Indonesia has brought an environmental challenge as the industry has come to rely heavily on plastic bottles for buoyancy to hold up seaweed lines.

 

These are cheap and readily available compared to alternatives. But as there is no management scheme for plastic waste, the practice leads to a significant garbage pile-up and microplastic pollution. The bottles degrade quickly and are frequently replaced. The waste left lying around not only finds its way into seaweed cultivation sites and coastal areas but also undermines national efforts to reduce land-to-ocean plastic waste by 70 percent by 2025.

This report explores the environmental impact of plastic use in seaweed aquaculture, focusing on Pitu Sunggu, a village in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It assesses the presence, distribution and impact of microplastics in the local marine environment of Pitu Sunggu.

PAIR_End-of-life of plastics used in seaweed aquaculture in South Sulawesi

Our findings revealed widespread microplastic contamination. This report underscores the critical environmental impact of microplastic pollution in seaweed cultivation and coastal areas. It is also an urgent call for comprehensive measures to address this growing concern.

 

photo credit:  OCG Saving the Ocean on Unsplash