Litter Problem

Too big to ignore

The Moluccas (Maluku) and the surrounding provinces are facing a major litter problem. Litter threatens the direct living conditions and health of residents and makes the area less attractive for visitors.

Green Moluccas is the name of the network of people and organizations who want to actively work together to tackle this litter problem. Our network is open to members from anywhere in the world but currently consists primarily of Dutch and Moluccan members.



Should I get involved? Where to begin? And how?

In the Moluccas, various partners have been active for a longer period of time or are currently planning to start new waste management programs. Until very recently, this work was carried out on an individual village basis with partners taking initiative and following their own approach. Green Moluccas has made contact with the “veterans” who have initiated these programs. By now we have joined forces as a community, using this website and our Facebook page to exchange critical information and proven methods regarding the current state of affairs. Our pages are updated constantly. The number of initiatives is now on the rise.

We work together with related projects, foundations and NGO’s outside the Moluccas. This brings us much inspiration and broadens our knowledge and experience. It’s much better to work this way than to go it alone. Working together gives us more strength to mobilize governments and institutions in places where it’s needed most. Green Moluccas welcomes new initiatives and volunteers! Even if you’re not completely sure about getting involved yet, please feel free to get in touch with us and let us know!

This website is designed to serve as an information center where you can find out all about how you can start your own litter management program in the village that you are connected with. You can also stay up-to-date on progress that others are making with their own programs.

If starting a litter management program is not an option for you at this time, then we still urge you to read the tips on how you can contribute to reducing the litter problem by volunteering during your next visit to Maluku.



The situation today

Over a very short period of time, residents of the Moluccas have experienced fast-pace modernization, internal tensions, the allure of progress, industrialization and policy shifts. So far, parents, institutions and schools still lack the tools and information they need to keep up with the changes going on around them.

Litter, often waste plastic, is mistaken for food by animals, both aquatic or on land, so it winds up in the food chain of local residents. For toxic chemical waste such as batteries and motor oil, there are only very limited options for responsible disposal. This is leading to polluted soil, threatening the drinking water supply which relies on groundwater.

In addition to the environmental problem, local residents are also grappling with a traumatic period of major tensions between Christians and Muslims which cost many lives. Most people are concerned today with economic survival and the hopes of securing a better financial future for their children. Generally speaking, there is little attention for the threat of environmental pollution.

The government has enacted legislation that has been unevenly implemented. Oversight of adherence to this legislation is severely lacking.





In the city of Ambon, many steps have already been taken by the Flushing-Ambon Partnership, a foundation that promotes cooperation and exchange between Ambon and the city of Flushing (Vlissingen) in the Netherlands. Under the “Litter Programs” tab, you can find out more. On the other half of Ambon island and the more remote villages in the mountains, there is still no systematic waste management in place. The same is true for the rest of the Moluccas.