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Thousands of Indonesians hit the beach in mass trash pick-up

Thousands of Indonesians hit the beach in mass trash pick-up

This picture taken on Aug 18, 2019 shows Indonesian environmental activists collecting trash on a beach in Pesawaran. (Photo: PERDIANSYAH / AFP)

JAKARTA: Thousands of Indonesians combed trash-strewn beaches over the weekend in a nationwide bid to tackle the Southeast Asian nation's mammoth marine waste problem.

As the country celebrated its 74th independence day anniversary, volunteers and civil servants scoured for plastic rubbish and other debris, collecting truckloads of trash across the 17,000 island archipelago. 

READ: Cash for trash: Indonesia village banks on waste recycling

Environmental activists also dived into the sea last week off the coast of Pesisir Selatan in West Sumatra to collect trash in the sea. 

This picture taken on Aug 18, 2019 shows Indonesian environmental activists collecting trash on a beach in Serdang Bedagai, North Sumatra. (Photo: IVAN DAMANIK / AFP)
This picture taken on Aug 15, 2019 shows an Indonesian environmental activist diving to collect trash in the sea off the coast of Pesisir Selatan, West Sumatra. (Photo: KARIADIL HAREFA / AFP)

Numbers were still being tabulated, but it was estimated that tens of thousands of people took part in the initiative - with hundreds of tonnes of rubbish collected, according to Pandu Laut Nasional, the event's coordinator.

WATCH: Indonesian village becomes dumping ground for plastic waste | Video

Indonesia is the world's second biggest contributor to marine debris after China, and pledged to reduce marine plastic waste by 70 per cent by 2025.

A string of initiatives have been rolled out to fight the scourge of plastic waste.

Bus passengers in Indonesia's second-biggest city Surabaya can now swap recyclable plastics for free local travel, while holiday hotspot Bali is rolling out a single-use plastics ban.

Source: AFP/aa

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