Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – A World Bank’s report entitled What a Waste 2.0 published in 2018 mentioned that Indonesia produced waste with volumes reaching 3.22 million metric tons per year, encouraging the government to reduce plastic waste to 70 percent by 2025.
The Center for Chemistry and Packaging (BBKK), a unit of research and development institution (R&D) under the Industrial Research and Development Agency (BPPI) at the Indonesian Ministry of Industry, has been conducting researches on processing polyethylene plastic waste (plastic bags) since 2009.
The aim of the study is to process plastic wastes into other compounds that are more useful through a pyrolysis process, the Government News Network (JPP) reported as quoted by Indonesia Window here on Monday.
“In the pyrolysis process, plastic wastes will be changed into a liquid phase and a gas phase, and residues in the form of solids. Non-condensed gas is also expected to be used as fuel,” Head of the Industrial Research and Development Agency Ngakan Timur Antara said.
He added that most people think that the easiest way to reduce plastic wastes is by combustion process.
According to him, that method is improper because the burned plastic wastes contain greenhouse gases, even dioxins and furan substances, which the World Health Organization (WHO) designates them as carcinogenic gases that trigger cancer in humans.
Ngakan explained some advantages of pyrolysis method in burning plastic wastes, including it runs without air or a mixture of hydrogen, and does not require high pressure.
Other advantages are hydrocarbons which are formed during the process can produce another useful product, while pollutants and impurities become concentrated as solid residues.
In addition, pyrolysis is running in a closed system, releasing no pollutants.
Reporting by Indonesia Window