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In 2015, environmental manager Erik Sumarkho began using his training to conduct research trips across Asia Pacific to identify actionable and effective solutions to ocean plastic pollution. As a half-Indonesian and half-Venezuelan person, Erik grew up in places where waste perversely polluted urban and natural environments. The journey took him from the bustling city of Jakarta to the remote island communities of the Mentawai. Knowing that the only way to end this global issue was with the help of others, he formed a team. It included Indonesian recycling engineer Zulfikar and marketing expert Ernesto Sumarkho (aka. brother). This is when F.P.R was born.

For Purpose Recycling is made up of recycling engineers, environmental managers and action-takers who are working to bring waste management to millions and in the process prevent ocean plastic. Funds raised by the sale of each belt provide waste collection, recycling infrastructure, income opportunities and other critical support to coastal communities in Indonesia that do not have access to basic waste services.

Why Indonesia?

As the world’s largest archipelagic nation, Indonesia’s rich marine resources form the backbone of its economy and identity. About 70% of the population lives in coastal areas and the ocean economy generates one quarter of the country’s GDP. Despite its dependence on a healthy and profitable marine environment, Indonesia releases the equivalent of almost 2,000 Boeing 747 aircraft full of plastic into the ocean every year (about 1 million tons). Pollution at this scale threatens to devastate the livelihood of communities across Indonesia. Impacting artisanal fishing practices, sustainable tourism and serving as vessels to spread diseases. As well, it damages the rich marine biodiversity and extensive mangrove, seagrass, and coral reef habitats needed for a healthy ecosystem.