EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Plastic pollution research in Indonesia: State of science and future research directions.

Paul Vriend1,2, Hidayat Hidayat2, Reza Cordova3, Noir. P. Purba4, Ansje Lohr5, Nining Ningsih6, Kirana Agustina7, Semeidi Husrin8, Devi D. Suryono8, Inneke Hantoro5,9, Budi Widianarko9, Judith van Leeuwen10, Bart Vermeulen1, and Tim van Emmerik1
Paul Vriend et al.
  • 1Wageningen University & Research, Water Systems & Global Change, Wageningen, Netherlands (
  • 2Research Center for Limnology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Bogor, Indonesia
  • 3Research Center for Oceanography, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Jl. Pasir Putih 1 Ancol, Jakarta 14430, Indonesia
  • 4KOMITMEN Research Group, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
  • 5Faculty of Management, Science & Technology, Department of Science, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands
  • 6Oceanography Research Group, Faculty of Earth Sciences and Technology, ITB, Bandung, Jawa Barat 40132, Indonesia
  • 7World Resources Institute, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 8Marine Research Centre, Research Agency, and Human Resource Development, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • 9Faculty of Agricultural Technology, Department of Food Technology, Soegijapranata Catholic University
  • 10Wageningen University, Environmental Policy Group, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Observational and modeling studies have suggested that Indonesia among the top plastic polluting countries globally. Data on the presence of plastic pollution are crucial to designing effective plastic reduction and mitigation strategies. Research quantifying plastic pollution in Indonesia has increased in recent years. However, most plastic research to date has been done with different goals, methods, and data formats. In this study, we present a meta-analysis of 85 studies published on plastic pollution in Indonesia to uncover gaps and biases in current research, and to use these insights to suggest ways to improve future research to fill these gaps. Research gaps and biases identified include a clear preference for marine research, and a bias towards certain environmental compartments within the marine, riverine, and terrestrial ecosystems, which are compartments that are easier to quantify such as riverbanks and beaches. Moreover, we identify polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene variants (HDPE, LDPE, PE) to be among the most frequently found polymers in both macro- and microplastic pollution, though polymer identification is lacking in most studies. Plastic research is mostly done on Java (57%). We recommend a shift in ecosystem focus of research towards the riverine and terrestrial environments, and a shift of focus of environmental compartments analyzed within these ecosystems. Moreover, we recommend an increase in spatial coverage across Indonesia of research, a larger focus on polymer characterization, and lastly, the harmonization of methods used to quantify plastic. With these changes, we envision future research that can aid with the design of effective reduction and mitigation strategies.

How to cite: Vriend, P., Hidayat, H., Cordova, R., Purba, N. P., Lohr, A., Ningsih, N., Agustina, K., Husrin, S., Suryono, D. D., Hantoro, I., Widianarko, B., van Leeuwen, J., Vermeulen, B., and van Emmerik, T.: Plastic pollution research in Indonesia: State of science and future research directions., EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2418,, 2021.

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