World over the countries have enforced lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. This has created a lot of problems for the waste-pickers and other informal waste collectors, who rely on public space for work. They cannot venture out, pick up waste material, sort and sell it. The recycling industries are shut. The governments are overstretched. The issues like mass starvation are looming. Here in this report, Prispolly, the President of Ikatan Pemulung Indonesia (Indonesian Waste-pickers Union- IPI) shared the status of the waste-pickers in Indonesia during the COVID 19 lockdown. The status update was presented in the webinar organized by Global Plastic Action Partnership. The whole webinar can be accessed in this page: Radically Reducind Plastic Pollution webminar (April 22, 2020).
Prispolly spoke about the marginalization of waste-pickers, who earn their livelihood on daily basis. They have no savings. There is tremendous pressure to shut down the operations. According to him, if they shut down their work, how will they earn and how will they eat?
He welcomed the support given by Indofood and Unilever and other private companies to help the waste-pickers.