Marine plastic debris in Indonesia: Baseline estimates (2010-2019) and monitoring strategies (2021-2025)


  • Intan Suci Nurhati Research Center for Oceanography, Indonesian Institute of Science. Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Muhammad Reza Cordova Research Center for Oceanography, Indonesian Institute of Science. Jakarta, Indonesia



baseline, Indonesia, marine debris , monitoring, plastic


Indonesia set the mission to reduce marine plastic debris by 70% between 2018-2025 with a global significance to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.1. This short communication assesses marine debris baseline estimates in Indonesia before 2020 from available contributions and provides recommendations for monitoring marine debris mitigation between 2021-2025. Widely ranging model estimates of plastic debris released into seas highlight the roles of data source, the spatial resolution of models, and in situ data to provide representative baseline values. Recognizing the strengths and uncertainties of available contributions, model outputs converge on a baseline value of 0.52 ± 0.36 million tons (Mt) per year prior to 2020 in Indonesia, therefore setting a targeted reduced number of 0.16 Mt of marine debris releases in 2025. The Indonesian Institute of Sciences showed a preliminary value of plastic debris accumulation in beaches at 113.58 ± 83.88 g/m2 monthly or equivalent to 0.40 Mt/year by assuming plastic debris is most pervasive within 3 meters from Indonesia’s 99,093 km-long coastlines. It is important to distinguish that while river monitoring data informs land-based plastic debris releases, stranded beach debris represents a fraction of debris that is not present in the water column and bottom sediments. Moving forward, monitoring initiatives to mitigate marine debris should leverage on nationwide municipality-level model estimates (e.g., the source to leakage route framework of the National Plastic Action Partnership) as well as in situ river and coastal particularly but not limited to sites co-identified in previous monitoring studies (i.e., Medan, Batam-Bintan, Padang, Jakarta-Seribu Islands, Semarang, Pontianak, Bali, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Bitung). The latter should be conducted at least seasonally, considering evidence of monsoonal variations of marine debris release and accumulation in Indonesia. Indonesia's vastness and regional diversity require coordination among stakeholders (government agencies, research institutions, universities, NGOs, citizen scientists) to monitor progress in the environments.


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How to Cite

Nurhati, I. S., & Cordova, M. R. (2020). Marine plastic debris in Indonesia: Baseline estimates (2010-2019) and monitoring strategies (2021-2025). Marine Research in Indonesia, 45(2), 97–102.



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