In the context of the 2018 International Conference Series on Life Cycle Assessment, which took place from 24 – 25 October in Jakarta, Indonesia, FSLCI organized two workshops in collaboration with our national partner organization, the Indonesian Life Cycle Assessment Network.

The first workshop focussed on Marine Litter and LCA and convened around 40 industry stakeholders one day ahead of the conference. Building on FSLCI’s work around marine litter and the previous workshop hosted in Brussels, participants discussed a number of questions around the issue of marine litter within the Indonesian context.

Participants identified a broad range of waste streams that would contribute to marine litter, namely industrial waste, waste from household and shipping activities. They then classified waste into organic, inorganic and hazardous waste. When discussing reasons for waste ending up in the ocean, participants highlighted a general lack of awareness and education on the subject within Indonesia. They also noted that a lack of a proper waste management infrastructure as well as a lack of technology was contributing to the issue. Even though participants highlighted the importance of everyone in society to address the issue, they specifically highlighted the role of government and industry stakeholders and called on them to prioritize and improve their activities to tackle waste generation and management.

Participants welcomed that some stakeholders have already begun replacing plastic with other materials (e.g. straws) or use recycled plastic for their products or services and that beach clean up campaigns are making the issue more visible. They also noted that while EPR and waste management regulations and policies are in place, a stricter enforcement of these regulations along with fines and concrete consequences for mismanagement was missing and urgently needed. In addition, changing people’s mind-sets vis-a-vis the handling of waste and the value of clean rivers and oceans was emphasized. Participants also highlighted the necessity to improve the availability of more sustainable products and called for a general reduction of plastic packaging. Finally, it was noted that the international community should support Indonesia through the facilitation of technology transfer along with financial support for investments in better waste management systems.

The second workshop, which took place on the 25th of October, focussed on the creation of business value by taking a life cycle perspective. The interactive workshop followed the keynote by Jim Fava on Ten Golden Rules for Applying Life Cycle Information and focussed on participants’ experiences with regards to implementing environmental sustainability considerations within their respective organizations. Participants shared their experiences in small groups and discussed challenges and opportunities of addressing environmental matters.

Following this round of interactive discussions, Sanjeevan Bajaj, Marzia Traverso and Eric Mieras provided some concrete examples of how international companies have used Life Cycle Information to enhance decision-making and improve the sustainability performance of their respective products or services. By outlining concrete case studies, participants were able to get a better understanding of the value of taking a life cycle approach to address sustainability.

All in all we enjoyed working together with ILCAN to bring these two workshops to Indonesia and we look forward to future collaboration.

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