Replanting mangroves

Stopping pollution and restoring mangroves

CLEAR Community is always looking for new ways to engage communities, reduce pollution and improve the environment. Based at the Waste Bank at Caykung, near Nusawiru, intern Tri Setyorini Saputri, Agricultural Engineering graduate explains the importance of protecting ecosystems from plastic pollution and how CLEAR Community has helped to revitalise mangrove swamps.

The problem: plastic-wrapped contemporary snacks

Who doesn’t like snacks? Yes, almost all Indonesian people like snacks. Plus, every year there is always a wide variety of new food and drinks that are very pleasing to the eye. They target all generations and every region. As we all know, fast food and soft drinks are synonymous with simple and attractive packages, the majority of which are made of plastic.

84% of waste isn’t collected

Plastic packaging makes it easier for people to bring their “snacks” home, so this habit contributes to the increase in the volume of household waste. A study in Pangandaran Regency showed that the volume of waste generated per person was 0.4 Kg/day. If the total population in the Pangandaran district is 480,000 people, the volume of generation per day reaches 192 tons. Based on data on the achievement of Pangandaran’s waste management in 2020, which can be accessed on the National Waste Management Information System (SIPSN) portal, it shows that only 16% of waste is managed annually by the government. This means that around 84% of the waste is not managed or leaks in the environment such as land, rivers, and the sea.

Vulnerable ecosystems need protection

One of the ecosystems most affected by household waste pollution is mangroves. Mangroves are plants that grow along the river near the sea. One of the mangrove areas that CLEAR Community pays close attention to is Nusawiru because of the large amount of waste there. This area was opened for educational tourism in 2015 but this was not balanced with adequate waste management systems. It is now feared that the resulting pollution will damage the mangrove and might even threaten the survival of the ecosystem.

Stopping pollution and restoring mangroves

CLEAR Community together with the Waste Banks initiated a one-month program to improve household waste collection and revitalise the mangrove swamps. Households in the community send their sorted waste to their nearest Waste Bank. Sales of this waste are converted into mangroves where every 1 kg of waste equals 1 mangrove tree seed. A target of 100 mangrove seedlings was set.

Why are mangroves so important?

Mangroves are vital for a number of reasons:

  1. Climate change: Mangroves are useful for fighting climate change because mangrove soils lock away a large amount of carbon which would otherwise enter the atmosphere.
  2. Defense: Mangroves can help to reduce the effect of storms and sea rises on the local population.
  3. Biodiversity: Mangroves are hotbeds of biodiversity with fish, insects, birds, reptiles and mammals using mangroves as places to eat, sleep and play. Fishing in mangroves is a vital part of life for locals who live near them.
  4. Water quality: The dense roots of mangroves help to filter and trap sediments and other pollutants, which can help to save delicate habitats like coral reefs further downstream.


Pictured below are mangroves being planted in brackish water (salt water) in the intertidal zone (near to, or at the edge of the river/sea or places affected by the tide).









Tri encourages everyone to take part saying:

“You too can join in making the environment better; your trash can be a source of life for all of us.”

Tri Setyorini Saputri studied Agricultural Engineering at Jenderal Soedirman University, located in Banyumas Regency, Central Java . She has been interested in environmental issues since college and enjoyed the opportunity to take courses related to Waste Treatment Engineering. She said: “my field of interest during college was Thermal Systems Engineering and Renewable Energy, where we see natural resources around us, all of which have potential as energy sources”.