On 19th February, one million volunteers will take to the streets, mountains, rivers, and oceans of Indonesia to pick up litter and make a change. It’s Hari Bersih or the national clean-up festival to raise awareness on the issue of plastic waste that ends up in the rivers, waterways, and ultimately, the oceans.

The volunteer-based initiative will mobilise clean-up efforts across the country’s 34 provinces. The central theme this year casts volunteers as superheroes in the fight against trash. To make a splashy statement, volunteers will don cosplay and costumes as they go around wiping the cities clean.

Hari Bersih Indonesia works with the local community and NGOs such as Fornas Rintara Jaya and Drivers Clean Action to urge people to clean up the rural and coastal areas of the country. In Bali, this year Hari Bersih Indonesia will collaborate with volunteer group One Island One Voice to welcome 10,000 citizens in the fight against the island’s mounting plastic problem that often makes for international headlines.

In other parts of Indonesia, businesses such as PT Adaro Energy, Eiger and Trakindo, are rallying efforts to involve all their employees to take part in this mega drive. In Jakarta, volunteers will pick up litter as they march on Car Free Day along the Jl Thamrin corridor. 

Founded by the Indah Foundation (IIF) this nationwide clean-up drive was born in 2019. This year, M&C Saatchi Indonesia who has run the past campaigns for the cause, is joining hands to aid in communications, execution and engagement of the campaign. 

Angela Jelita Richardson, founder and chairwoman of Indonesia Indah Foundation, highlights the effectiveness of undertaking this one-day a year annual festival.

“I have been conducting clean-ups in Indonesia for over a decade,” Richardson says. “I find it the simplest, most effective way to fight the very serious issue of litter and plastic waste, as volunteers experience the scale of the problem first-hand and are able to then make a commitment to make a change. A bonus is that we are cleaning up our local environment at the same time.” asia%2fcontent%2f20230217102933 2

Anish Daryani, founder and president director, M&C Saatchi Indonesia, also a member on the board of IIF adds: “I feel inspired by Angela and her team’s vision to lead change. While the world sits and talks about environmental issues and how they are aggravated by plastic waste, IIF chose to do something about it,” Daryani says.

“This is our first clean-up activity post-pandemic, and we’re lending our full support to Hari Bersih Indonesia, helping not just with communications, but also enhancing the execution and experience of the engagement, leading to a bigger, better turnout for the event.”

 If you are in Indonesia on February 19 and wish to volunteer, sign up here.  

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