#SeastainableStories: Hananto Darmawan | Southwest Sumba, Indonesia

#SeastainableStories is a series by Seastainable to feature amazing ocean conservationists and advocates! We believe that everyone can play a part in contributing to healthier and happier oceans.
For this week's feature, we are sharing Hananto's story and how he was able to eoperate the first event Plastic Waste Management Center in Southwest Sumba, Indonesia. Through applying for the Seastainable Grant in 2018, Hananto was able to educate his community on how to find solutions for plastic pollution through workshops and the plastic waste management plant. Living by the sea and seeing the amount of pollution around the island that is his home made him eager to address the root of problem.
Interested to learn more about Hananto's initiative? Read more below.

Tell us about yourself! 
My name is Hananto Darmawan, I'm 35 years old. I live and settle in Southwest Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. I am the founder of the Center for Plastic Waste Management in Southwest Sumba Regency. This center was established more or less 3 years ago but began to fully operate in mid-2018. I was moved to establish this plastic waste management center because I was concerned about the condition of the pollution where I live, especially plastic waste. In almost every place, we encounter plastic waste which is discarded carelessly.

How did you start your project?
This condition will certainly make environmental conditions unhealthy and threaten the survival of living things. Until now the local government has not done much about the scattered rubbish, they are only limited to transporting waste and disposing of it to other places without any management treatment to reduce waste, especially plastic waste. I hope the Plastic Waste Management Center that I founded is able to overcome the problem of plastic waste in Southwest Sumba Regency and is even hoped to be able to reach the entire Sumba Island. Today Sumba Island has been named as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, so the role of the center of plastic waste management plays an important factor in managing plastic waste and keeping Sumba Island as the most beautiful island in the world.

Tell us what you love to do:
My favorite things to do are:
1. As a follower of Jesus I always take the time to read the Bible every day to give strength and enthusiasm to work;
2. I always spend time with my family, because they are the ones who always support my activities;
3. I always want to meet, talk and share with people who care about the environment, because by meeting them there will always be something new and we can help each other;
4. I really like it when I look for and get lots of plastic bottles, it is my own satisfaction when it is able to save the environment from the threat of plastic waste;
5. I am very happy with my job [when sorting and pressing plastic waste], I feel I am a warrior and it makes me feel more confident that the center of plastic waste management that I founded is very beneficial for the earth.

What is your motivation in pursuing your project for marine conservation? How was the Seastainable Grant helpful in executing your dream project?
In pioneering the establishment of this plastic waste management, center I stayed positive in order to always encourage myself. There were too many challenges that I had to face in establishing the center. I have the desire to participate in saving the earth with what I have and what I can do, namely by establishing the only plastic waste management center on the island of Sumba. By doing such things indirectly I also took part in conserving the earth from the brink of extinction. We must save this earth for generations to come. Plastic waste management is a part of my concern. As much as the world is shocked by the plastic waste that has entered the sea, this certainly adds to the concern for the survival of living things in the ocean. For me plastic waste is a threat if it is not managed properly, as much as possible I manage the plastic waste that is on land so as not to go into the sea. I always educate the public to collect plastic waste to not be thrown away or burned carelessly and sent it to me for further management, so indirectly I was also involved in efforts to prevent plastic waste from entering the sea. To support the movement that I do, I really need the support of all those who care about the environment, one of which is Seastainable. I got information about Seastainable directly from the Google search site and I immediately studied all the requirements to get a help from Seastainable and finally they were willing to help me to get a press machine to manage PET type plastic waste.
How did the Seastainable Grant help your project grow? 
The assistance provided by Seastainable has a profound effect on the project to establish a Plastic Waste Management Center on Sumba Island, with the assistance finally the center can have a press machine to manage PET type plastics and change the way people look at plastic waste. Together, we were able to recognize that plastic waste is still valuable if we manage it properly. The results in June 2019 showed that we have collected 1.3 tons of plastic waste from Southwest Sumba that is ready to be recycled. We can only imagine what it would look like if the same amount of garbage enters the sea--and what then will happen to our sea? This is why the Plastic Waste Management Plant is a remarkable achievement for me and for the island of Sumba as it is the first one in our area able to manage as much as 1.3 tons of plastic waste, and it makes me even more proud and eager to continue collecting plastic waste despite many challenges that I have to face. What has been done by Seastainable is considered a milestone for us and must continue to be improved in the midst of increasingly degraded environmental conditions. Seastainable helped me and others to realize the dream of environmental warriors to continue to fight for the sustainability of our environment. I believe in Seastainable’s capacity to continue to concentrate on supporting the movement to manage plastic waste so as not to pollute and damage the environment, especially plastic waste in the ocean. I would like to invite all environmental fighters to unite and cry out together to save the environment for a better life. Until now I am still concentrating on saving the oceans from plastic waste in my own way which is managing plastic waste. I would like to invite all parties to join in and contribute to managing plastic waste in Southwest Sumba where I live. It is very unlikely that I will do this alone and I still need help and advice from all those who care about the environment, especially the issue of plastic waste.  
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