Surabaya River is a tributary downstream from Brantas River, the longest river in East Java. Currently the pollutants found in Surabaya River are not only organic and heavy metals, but also microplastic (MP). Microplastic is a plastic that is subjected to physical, chemical and biological weathering processes and measuring less than 5 mm is considered a “microplastic”. Mycroplastic can be digested by aquatic animals, which causes health problems and food safety problems. Surabaya River is a habitat for aquatic species that have important ecological and economic values and provide services for recreation, water products, and water resources. MP has the ability to bind other pollutants (such as heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs) in very high concentrations. Microplastic facts (MP) in Surabaya River:
1)MP sources not only come from residential waste and / or garbage, but also from the recycled paper industry. Research conducted by Kristanto (2018-2019) found that MP concentration (in form): fiber 17-198 particles / L; fragment 42-2048 particles / L; sheets 12-3896 particles / L; others 2- 128 particles / L
2)Research conducted by the FST – Unair Research Team in collaboration with IndoWaer CoP found that the average MP concentration found in Surabaya River (body of water): films 2-15 particles / L; fragments 2-15 particles / L; filaments 1-16 particles / L; foam 2-9 particles / L; granules 2-10 particles / L; 1 particle / L pellet
3)Research conducted by Kristanto (2018) shows that 72% of fish samples (103 samples from 9 species of fish (Rengkik, Keting, Jendil, Baderbang, Bader putih, Monto, Muraganting, Lokas, and Nila) were found in plastic (meso and microplastic ) in his stomach.
The identification of MP sources and the discovery of MP in water and fish stomach shows the urgency of controlling MP sources because of their impact on the health of both aquatic and human animals. MP cannot be digested by the human intestine, this is indicated by the discovery of MP in human faeces. The health impacts caused by MP on aquatic and human animals include reproductive disorders (intersex / double-sex fish), imperfect embryo development, disorders of the endocrine / hormone system and digestive system and changes in gene expression. For this reason, ECOTON and IndoWater CoP encourage:
1)The government (provincial and municipal districts) to implement a paid plastic bag policy with a high rupiah value per sheet to reduce the consumption of plastic bags
2)KLHK to tighten the quality standards of paper and plastic industrial waste disposal by adding MP test parameters into existing quality standards as an effort to control MP sources
3)PDAM Surya Sembada conducts research on MP content in clean water distributed to consumers
4)Ministry of Health to determine MP in drinking water / consumption quality standards
5)The Environmental Agency conducts a source mapping and distribution of MP on the Brantas River
6)PU Cipta Karya provides waste management facilities and infrastructure along the banks of the Brantas River as a control of MP sources originating from domestic
7) The government educates the public regarding the health impacts of MP pollution on aquatic and human animals 8) The paper and plastic industry to implement appropriate technology with the aim of reducing waste disposal containing MP.