Jakarta, 27 September 2018 – Envirochallenge is officially back. 25 high schools or equivalent in Jabodetabek, Bandung Metropolitan and Bali have been engaged in an attempt to reduce plastic pollution. Envirochallenge is a movement that challenges high school students or equivalent to develop school-wide environmental initiatives. 

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Organized by Gerakan Indonesia Diet Kantong Plastik (The Indonesia Plastic Bag Diet Movement or GIDKP) and United in Diversity (UID), Envirochallenge participants need to address environmental issues, particularly plastic pollution, in accordance with Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) blueprints. Envirochallenge aligns with SDGs indicator 4 (quality education), 12 (responsible consumption and production) and 14 (life below water).

Based on our research, an estimated of 240 – 300 million plastic bags are consumed every year in Jakarta and a plastic bag is one of the products that tend to disrupt the environment in a very serious way. Envirochallenge, as the joint forces of GIDKP and UID, urges high school students or equivalent to be more aware of plastic pollution as well as inspired them to invent and implement an environment focused initiative as part of the solution,” said Tiza Mafira, GIDKP. 

UID understand the importance and urge to encourage young people to lead a responsible lifestyle towards the environment, society and even themselves because they are the future and inheritor of our country. Challenges, in regards to plastic waste, need to be resolved from top to bottom to initiate MENTAL REVOLUTION and schools are the primary entry point to make this happen. There are approximately 36 thousand schools with millions of students in Indonesia,” said Cokorda Istri Dewi, Executive Vice President, United in Diversity. 

From 2016 until 2017, the efforts of Envirochallenge school participants to manage plastic waste have shown significant result. It is reported that their attempts have resulted in up to 70% reduction of plastic waste. Some canteens have been providing reusable plates, bowls and cupsto replace disposable packaging. Several schools even replaced the polystyrene foam used in the laboratory to make propsand mock-upsas well as provided free drinking water dispensers in every class.  

Envirochallenge consists of a series of rounds. In the beginning, a number of school workshops participated by 25 schools were conducted in August to September 2018. The workshop materials included introduction to important environmental issues, social media activation and proposal writing utilizing these theories: logical framework analysis, impact model canvas and theory of change. The workshops were guided by mentors from GIDKP, UID and local partners including Sea Soldier and IAAS Local Committee Universitas Padjadjaran. As the next step, students were given a task to device an environmental program to be implemented in their respective schools. Right after school workshops, only 10 schools with the best proposal were entitled to attend a 2-day coaching session in Jakarta on 26-27 September 2018. Facilitated by GIDKP and UID, participants conducted a sensing journey to the waste banks in Jakarta. On the second day, participants presented school-wide environmental initiatives in front the judges. After the coaching session ended, they went home and implemented the proposed initiatives.

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Envirochallenge does not end today in Jakarta. For the next 3 months, students from the selected 10 schools will implement school-wide environmental initiatives they have presented early on. They will still be facilitated and receiving mentorship from GIDKP and UID. This is to closely monitor the initiative’s implementation, assist students when they face challenges all throughout and help students compiling a final report,” closed Tiza. 10 schools invited to Envirochallenge 2-day coaching session are entitled to receive preliminary implementation grant of IDR 5 million per school. In December 2018, mentors and judges will announce 3 schools with the best program implementation and they are entitled to receive an additional grant of IDR 2.5 million per school.

About the authors

Plastic Bag Diet Movement

The Indonesia Plastic Bag Diet Movement ("Gerakan Indonesia Diet Kantong Plastik or "GIDKP") is a local non-profit organization legally established in Indonesia. GIDKP is specializing in advocating for better waste management policy, with a focus on reducing single use plastics. Our team hails from multiple backgrounds comprising of specialists in law, communications, environmental sciences, and social sciences. We are a core member of the Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) global network, as well as members of GAIA, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Youth. Our defining goal is to achieve a measurable reduction of single-use-plastics in Indonesia. To achieve this goal, we work to influence three main stakeholders simultaneously: the government, the private sector, and society.