Nearly half of Indonesia’s plastic waste generated is open burned.

Intentional burning of household waste is part of routine household chores Intentional burning happens in landfills to create space. Spontaneous burning in landfills occurs due to ignition by methane from decomposing organic waste.

Black carbon from open burning contributes to: 5%-10% of total man-made GHG emissions. 2,000 times more powerful than CO₂ as a GHG. Has shorter half-life than methane

Open waste burning & public health

Harmful pollutants from open-air burning include: fine particulates; black carbon (soot) particles; polychlorinated dibenzo dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzo furans (PCDFs); and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, including known carcinogens such as benzo(a)pyrene. Young children and older adults, especially those with existing respiratory conditions (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease etc.) are most susceptible to the immediate negative health effects from open-air burning. Exposure to poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins and furans are linked to problems with cancer, the liver, the immune system, endocrine system, the reproductive system, and the developing systems of the young.

We integrate awareness about open burning in our community-based waste management program.

Links to related publications

Plastic Waste Poisoning Food and Threatening Communities in Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe and Latin America – 2021 June by IPEN

Mismanagement of Plastic Waste through Open Burning with Emphasis on the Global South: A Systematic Review of Risks to Occupational and Public Health by Costas A. VelisEd Cook Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55, 11, 7186–7207 – May 18, 2021

OPEN BURNING OF WASTE: A GLOBAL HEALTH DISASTER by R20 Regions of Climate Action

Health and Environmental Effects of Open Burning of Refuse and Other Solid Wastes by Government of Saskatchewan

Open Burning during the COVID-19 Pandemic by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Environmental Effects | Backyard Burning | Wastes by US EPA

Burning of fallen leaves poses health hazards The Times of India

Paper Burning and Associated Pollution Problems in Higher Educational
Institutions of Ethiopia; The Need and Potential for Recycling
 by Mekonnen Amberber and Yitayal Addis, Department of Environmental Science, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Kotebe Metropolitan University, Ethiopia

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