Microplastics Contaminate Ciwulan River Tasikmalaya

tim-ekspedisi-sungai-nusantara-esn-sedang-melakukan-deteksi-kondisi-sungai-ciwulan_169 The Nusantara River Expeditionary Team (ESN) is detecting the condition of the Ciwulan River (Photo by: Detik)).

Source: Detik.com
Date: April 4, 2022

Tasikmalaya - Pollution of the Ciwulan river which stretches from Garut to Tasikmalaya Regency is considered worrisome. In addition to the water containing heavy metals, the generation of garbage in this 114 km long river is found at many points.

There have been found more than 50 points of waste generation from Cilawu, Garut and Tasikmalaya border to the Cidadap estuary, Tasikmalaya Regency.

This fact is the Nusantara River Expeditionary Team (ESN) Prigi Arisandi and Amirudin Muttaqin who carried out the detection of the health of the Ciwulan River together with the Republic of Aer Tasikmalaya community.

"There are various types of waste that fall into the small category below 2 meters, the medium category 5 meters and the large category if the generation is above 5 meters," said Prigi Arisandi.

He said the garbage in the Ciwulan River was dominated by food packaging waste and daily necessities. The team also conducted an audit of plastic brands, so that the top 10 product brands were obtained.

"The most plastic waste that we found was 70 people with non-stick notes of Styrofoam, plastic bags, straws and 30 people with notes that are widely used by the public. We have conducted a brand audit," said Prigi Arisandi,

He emphasized that the producers of these products must be responsible for the waste that pollutes Ciwulan.

"In the Waste Management Law 18/2008 there is the term EPR or Extended Producer Responsibility or the company's responsibility for the waste they produce. Producers must help provide special trash cans for sachets because this waste is categorized as non-prigi residue waste.

They hope that the government will take concrete steps to reduce plastic waste in Ciwulan. Due to the large amount of plastic waste, the Ciwulan River is contaminated with microplastics.

"Unmanaged plastic waste will be fragmented into microplastics or small pieces smaller than 5 mm. Our findings in the Ciwulan river show that there are 180 microplastic particles in 100 liters of air," said Amiruddin Muttaqin, another member of the ESN Team.

This UPN Surabaya Environmental Engineering alumnus said that of the 180 particles, the most were 100 particles of fiber, 60 filaments and 20 plastic fragments.

According to him, microplastics threaten human health. Microplastics are categorized as hormone disrupting compounds because in the plastic manufacturing process there are many additional synthetic materials and the nature of microplastics is hydrophobic or easily binds pollutants in the air.

"Microplastics that enter the air will bind to pollutants in the air such as heavy metals, pesticides, detergents and pathogenic bacteria. If microplastics are ingested by humans through fish, shellfish and air, the pollutant materials will move into the human body and cause hormonal disturbances," he wrote.

President of the Republic of Aer Tasikmalaya, Harniwan Obech, said that the current condition of the Ciwulan river is very interesting. According to him, as a result of the Ciwulan riverside expedition conducted by the Republic of Aer team a few months ago, there were dozens of waste generated from upstream to downstream along 120 km.

"People must be aware, throw garbage into rivers. The local government must also fix the waste management system. Then producers must also make packaging that is more environmentally friendly," said Obech. 

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