We’ve been here before, and we thought we would’ve learned by now. Yet the start of 2023 in Indonesia was marked by a video going viral showing, once again, that we are the biggest cause of environmental catastrophe.
A video shared on Jan. 1 by @txtdaribogor, a community account from Bogor city and regency, depicts a regular day at the popular Cibinong traditional market.
A man, who appears to work at the market, walks up to the side of a bridge and tosses a heap of food and plastic waste into the river below.
The tweet above translates to, “A normal day in Bogor Regency.” Layers of waste that had been collecting on the sides of the river do indicate that littering is par for the course at the market.
After the video went viral, Bogor Regency’s Environmental Agency said that environmental concerns at the market fall under the purview of district and village officials, who should have supervised the site and prevented such littering. As such, any complaint should be filed with them before the agency could act.
We can already imagine the classic blame game when litter gets washed down from Bogor to Jakarta via the Ciliwung River, causing floods or worse.
Conversely, a group of youths who transcended bureaucratic hurdles received widespread praise online in the new year over a TikTok video showing them cleaning a canal clogged with litter. Named Pandawara, the five young men were recently honored as Local Heroes on TikTok for their videos cleaning up rivers in Indonesia. You can check out their TikTok and donate to their cause here.
@pandawaragroup 2022 berakhir disungai ter-ekstrim, sampai jumpa di 2023! #pandawara #onedayonetrashbag #yearontiktok ♬ Master Of Puppets – Remastered 2016 – Metallica
As awesome as Pandawara and other environmental activists are, it would be better if they didn’t have to clean up our rivers in the first place.
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