Project description

As the second biggest sea pollutant in the world, Indonesia is currently under scrutiny due to it’s rampant plastic pollution and how it plans to tackle the problem. This article tries to answer the question of whether or not the government’s efforts to address this problem by focusing on plastic bags usage are enough to reduce the disastrous effects of plastic waste in the nation. Here is the breakdown:

The war on plastic bags has caused quite a stir in recent months as cities such as Balikpapan, Denpasar, Jambi, Bogor, and Bali have implemented a law banning or limiting single-use plastic bags in shops. And now Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, will soon enforce a similar law. According to a survey, residents in the city are also very willing to reduce their plastic bag consumption.

So we looked at the numbers to see if such a legislation would actually help the country’s plastic waste problem. According to data from Gerakan Diet Kantung Plastik, an environmental agency affiliated with the Jakarta’s local government, the city uses 5.2 tonnes of plastic bags daily. However this figure is very insignificant if compared to the city’s overall plastic waste which can hit 978 tonnes a day. This includes plastic bottles, food packaging and hard plastic, just to name a few. This then raises the question: why are we we focusing only on plastic bags? Why are we not regulating big consumer corporations who are producing tonnes of plastic waste instead?

We started the article with a game at the top to attract the young audience. The game is very simple: we ask them to avoid street vendors who offer them plastic bags by jumping over their hawker stalls. At the end of the game, we count how many plastic bags they were able to avoid, and hence reduce, which then reflects their overall contribution to lessening plastic bag consumption in the city. By bringing ‘play’ into the news, we hope that the audience will be hooked and read the whole article – which also includes data visualisations on plastic waste, a video package about the phenomenon, and some interesting quotes from sources. We spoke to vendors who told us that they can’t imagine doing business without plastic bags and at the same time, we also spoke to environmental experts who said that while the plastic bag could be helpful, it’s impact is minimal should the government not also regulate manufacturers and it’s industry as well.

No monetisation plan as it is not editorially allowed.

What makes this project innovative?

There things that make the article stand out amongst other articles with a similar topic. Firstly, there has been a lot of coverage on Jakarta’s possible plastic bag ban, but most of these are written in a positive tone and efforts to look at the issue critically are minimal. By looking at the bigger picture, and by looking at the data available, we can bring in a different perspective, which, in short, says that although the ban is seen as a good effort, experts say it is not enough. The government must do more by targeting big corporations. Secondly, we also planned the presentation of the story carefully. We combined a game, pictures, video, data visualisations, and quote boxes to grab the attention of the young audience but also all other age groups to entice them to continue reading right to the end. The game is designed as light as possible, considering Indonesia’s internet speed, to ensure that it loads fully no matter the internet bandwidth of the device. And other components are also designed mobile-first so it fits into various mobile devices. Social media promotion was also a key part of the distribution. We promoted the article heavily on Instagram (Stories and Posts) and on Twitter.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

Within a month, after the article is published, Chartbeat data showed that the average audience time spent on this article is around one minute, now with even more total page views rentention has increased to 1:17 which is extremely rare. The average BBC Indonesia article sees a retention rate of between 20 and 40 seconds. The high retention rate is a testament of the efficacy of the various multimedia elements on the page which served their intended purpose - to keep readers interested right to the very end of the piece. To date, the 3,044 people have read the piece but that number is expected to increase as the article, being an evergreen piece of content, will be repromoted ahead of the Indonesian election on April 17. Fifty-five percent of the page views are coming from mobile devices and 54% from social media. More importantly, however, is the fact that this article triggered a lot of discussion on social media. On the Facebook post, users discussed their personal attemps at reducing their dependence on plastic bags as well as the government’s legislation and whether or not it will be effective. This discussion, we believe is far more important than the statistics on the page as it got Indonesians talking about their plastic consumption, acknowledging that it was a problem and opening their eyes to a potential solution. On instagram, users responded to the BBC Indonesia’s instagram stories about how they found the game useful, as did the rest of the article while on Facebook, there was also talk about why the government wasn’t harsher on industrial plastic producers.

Source and methodology

The data was obtained from Gerakan Diet Kantung Plastik which we then implemented in the story and the game. Our East Asia Visual Journalism hub colleagues created the game from scratch and then spent two weeks optimising it to ensure it’s fast loading time.

Technologies Used

Text editor to write down the code. Programming languages used are mostly JavaScript and HTML+CSS. To test, we simply try it on a variety of browsers (everything from Opera Mini to Chrome) and on a myriad of devices (from a Samsung S5 to the iPhone X).

Project members

Authors: Callistasia WIJAYA, Christine FRANCISKA Video: Anindita PRADANA, Callistasia WIJAYA Design & US: Arvin SUPRIYADI Illustration: Davies SURYA Development: Leben ASA


[Video] Pemprov DKI Jakarta tengah menyusun aturan yang melarang penggunaan plastik sekali pakai, namun mengubah kebiasaan masyarakat adalah hal yang sulit, terutama di pasar tradisional.Lantas bagaimana para pedagang pasar di Jakarta menanggapinya?Simak juga beritanya: Pengurangan kantong kresek 'tak cukup' atasi masalah sampah plastik Jakarta

Gepostet von BBC News Indonesia am Mittwoch, 20. Februar 2019


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