Right now, in Indonesia there are striking disparity between the rich and the poor, so many Daerah Tertinggal, and environment problem like plastic waste. What is the solution of thess problems? I personally thought that social entrepreneur is one of the best solution so far. Not like entrepreneur who do business as usual and only looking for profit, social entrepreneur empower communities, give new vacancies, upgrade the system into social community, and create new solution for a better society. Social Entrepreneur have a spirit of “Bhineka Tunggal Ika” which means “Unity in Diversity”. Though the social entrepreneurs in Indonesia are spreading across the province and island, they have same spirit to do their best in combating poverty and increasing opportunity to live better in Indonesia. In this essay, I will present Plastichood, a social entrepreneur initiate by my friends and me with vision to become an international social entrepreneur with business oriented in improving quality of environment, increasing life quality of people in slump area through recycle plastic waste into high quality plastic pellet.
“Bhineka Tunggal Ika” which means “Unity in Diversity” is official national motto of Indonesia. It contains the spirit of though we are different in place, religion, and tribe, we are Indonesian who are united in the red-white flag country. We will give our best in each of our expertise field to fight for better Indonesia. Unfortunately, based on Badan Pusat Statistik, Indonesia still has 28,07 million people lived in poor. Based on Kementerian Pembangunan Daerah, there are 183 regencies spreading around the country included in category of Daerah Tertinggal. On top of that, in metropolitan city such as Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya, there is striking disparity between the rich and the poor. We know that poverty gives big impact in every aspect of life of the poor such as it is often difficult for the poor to get a high quality education and health service. So, without any changes in their economic level, the cycle will turn around again, the poor will always be poor. To make the poor have a better life, first we have to improve their economic level.
So, what is the solution of these problems? I personally thought that social entrepreneur is one of the best solution so far. Not like entrepreneur who do business as usual and only looking for profit, social entrepreneur empower communities, give new vacancies, upgrade the system into social community, and create new solutions for a better society. Indonesia still lack in having entrepreneur. “Compared to neighboring countries, Indonesia is still far behind. Amount of Malaysian entrepreneurs reach 4 percent, Thailand 4.1 percent, and Singapore 7.2 percent. In order to drive the national economy, the number of entrepreneurs have to be at least 2 percent,” said Chairman of the Board Diplomat Success Challenge (DSC) 2013 Surjanto Yasaputera in Jakarta. So, we can see a big contribution we can give for being an entrepreneur. Furthermore, there are more positive impacts being a social entrepreneur as mention above which is still in smaller number than entrepreneur
The Journey in Establishing Plastichood
I have been contributed in social entrepreneur for about 2 years. My first experience was when I became a leader of organize committee of Social Entrepreneur Program held by AIESEC UI in 2012. AIESEC UI is an international organization for student. I met many social entrepreneurs such as Dreamdelion which empower woman in slump area in Manggarai, South Jakarta by making crafts, ICDC which empower society in rural area in Bandung by making milk and yogurt fabric, Urchindonesia which empower fisherman in Pulau Seribu by cultivating sea urchin, and many more. I feel their positive and incredible spirit and unity to build Indonesia. From their sharing, I know the path they choose is not easy with never ending hurdles. But, they keep going with confidence to do their best as believing though one door is closed, the other door will remain open. Just like “Bhineka Tunggal Ika”, though their field and place in social entrepreneurship is different, they are in unity to struggle and fight for combating poverty and increasing opportunity to live better in Indonesia.
After the Social Entrepreneur program ended, I keep in contact with most of them. Inside of me, little by little I start to have same spirit with them. So, I make a decision to make a social entrepreneur. As I already have a team, we start to do brain storming for the concept. As we know, plastics have many benefits for society, so thats why the use of plastics increased from time to time. Increased use of plastics result in an increase in the amount of plastic waste from time to time. A person consumes up to 10 kg per capita per year. Assuming 50% of the plastic become a plastic waste then with population of 240 million, Indonesia plastic waste is as much as 1.2 trillion per year. So far there has been no integrated action in the processing of plastic waste. Plastic waste just piled in a landfill. Unfortunately, plastic waste takes 200 years to decompose so that it can harm the environment. Actually plastic waste has the potential to be processed and reused and so become profitable. The irony behind the potential of plastic waste is scavengers who picked up plastic waste only get money around 30.000 rupiah/day. In addition, the scavengers tend to be marginalized because of their work is considered low though scavengers contribute greatly to the reduction of plastic waste amount. Departing from this background, we initiated a social enterprise which is engaged in the processing of plastic waste into a plastic pellet by empowering poor people especially scavengers. The social enterprise aims to improve the welfare of poor people especially scavengers and reduce the use of new raw materials, plastic pollution, energy usage, land degradation, conserve landfill, eco-friendly culture into the community.
The name of the social entrepreneur is Plastichood which means brotherhood in plastic. Plastichood’s motto is “one stop solution for recycle waste plastic into plastic pellets”. Plastichood has a vision of becoming an international social entrepreneur with a business oriented in improving the quality of the environment, increasing the life quality of people in the area Slump through recycle plastic waste into high quality plastic pellets. We devided the social entrepreneur into two fields, namely business programs and social programs. These two programs are complementary and parallel. Business programs assist in providing funds for social programs while social programs help to socialize the business program so that more parties want to cooperate with Plastichood.
The processing of plastic waste is the core business to get a money for doing the social programs. Technical process of processing is as follows: (1) collect plastic waste, (2) divide plastic waste by type, (3) put plastic waste into the processing machine to be plastic pellet, (4) clean plastic pellet from soapsuds, (5) pack and distribute plastic pellet to the buyer. Our social main programs are Komunitas Indonesia Memilah (KIM) whose purpose is increase awareness of society to act eco-friendly and Education and Health Service (EHS) for poor people especially scavanger family. The main concept of EHS is if scavanger gives Plastichood a plastic waste as the requirement, he can get education or health service. By doing this massively, there will be many scavanger family who don’t have to worry about their education and health. They also can get income by become an employee in processing plastic waste place and/or become a supplier for Plastichood.
Right now, Plastichood is still embryonic, the idea of the unborn. We still do our best to gain money to buy a processing machine, installation tools, land lease, and leasing of motor tricycle. We realized our path is not an easy but our happiness is when we contribute directly and see poor people under our guidance gradually became prosperous.
Social entrepreneur is one of the best solution so far for combating poverty and increasing opportunity to live better in Indonesia. Because not like entrepreneur who do business as usual and only looking for profit, social entrepreneur empower communities, give new vacancy, upgrade the system into social community, and create new solutions for a better society. Right now, Indonesia still lacking in having entrepreneur and there are striking disparity between the rich and the poor, so many Daerah Tertinggal, and environment problem like plastis waste. So, seeing that problem as an opportunity to contribute, social entrepreneur Plastichood initiate recycling plastic waste to plastic pellet and providing Komunitas Indonesia Memilah and Education and Health Service. Plastichood and I personally have same spirit to become unity with other social entrepreneur to give our best for better Indonesia
Kementerian Pembangunan Daerah Tertinggal. (March 1st 2013). Kabupaten Daerah Tertinggal. Quoted at February 12th 2014 from http://www.kemenegpdt.go.id: http://www.kemenegpdt.go.id/hal/300027/183-kab-daerah-tertinggal
Pikiran Rakyat.com. (September 1st 2013). Kewirausahaan Indonesia Tertinggal. Quoted at February 12th 2014 from pikiranrakyat.com: http://www.pikiran-rakyat.com/node/248888