Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

The Small Island Initiative for a Plastic Free Ocean is an ongoing project with a focus on reducing ocean plastic pollution in remote Indonesian coastal communities.

It investigates factors contributing to ocean plastic pollution in these communities, the community dynamics related to the disposal of single-use plastics, and key pathways for reducing and preventing single-use plastic leakage into the marine environment.

Working in collaboration with the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), this project identified the roles of communities, key organizations and industries that are involved in different local and regional-scale waste management practices, their respective knowledge/belief systems, and potential roles in support of effective multi-level plastic waste management. Mental models generated helped identify a complex set of factors contributing to extensive plastic leakage and articulate cultural, social, economic, and ecological trade-offs associated with waste management efforts and actions.

Lead UQ Plastics researchers, Dr Anna (Anya) Phelan, Professor Helen Ross and Associate Professor Kelly Fielding are part of team that are delivering this project. It is due for completion in October 2020.

Outcomes from this project include expanded collaboration with the Indonesian Institute of Science and their initiative Plastic Waste Management Campaign and its Impact on Coastal Environment, policy guidance provided to the Indonesian Central Government, and academic publications on mental models and the ocean plastics crisis in low-resource coastal communities in Indonesia.