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Comics Competition for Young Indonesians – Educating a New Generation in Plastic Pollution
Indonesia is the second-largest producer of plastic debris in the world. In a bid to turn things around and raise awareness, PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero) and AFD have organized a comics competition called “Together against plastic waste,” whose three winners were announced on 26 August. As a result of the competition, some 630,000 people were made aware through this operation, carried out in the second country contributing the most to plastic pollution in the oceans.

From 19 July to 6 August, Indonesian cartoonists aged 18 to 25 were invited to submit their cartoons on the theme "Together against plastics". The competition was organized by CNN Indonesia, and the jury included representatives from AFD and PT SMI, French cartoonist Emmanuel Lemaire, author of Ma voisine est Indonésienne (Delcourt, 2021), and Indonesian cartoonist Beng Rahadian.

A successful awareness campaign

Indonesia is the second-largest contributor to plastic pollution in the oceans and produces around 6.8 million tons of plastic waste per year, a figure that is increasing by 5 % every year. The awareness-raising operation is in line with the Indonesian government's national strategy to reduce national waste production by 30 % and to recycle 70% of the waste produced by 2025.


630,000 people educated
about the consequences of plastic pollution
in Indonesia


Nearly 300 cartoons were submitted, all of which were of high quality and demonstrated the willingness of young Indonesians to take action to reduce plastic pollution. More than 630,000 people saw the posts by CNN on Twitter and Instagram and were made aware of this key issue, only one week before the launch of the IUCN World Congress in Marseille.

"Some might ask why two public development banks (SMI and AFD) are organizing a cartoon competition on plastic debris. The answer is simple: we believe that public development banks have a key role to play in addressing the challenges facing our planet and our oceans. But to tackle issues such as plastic debris, we need to 'touch' people, and what better way than to use art!" said Emmanuel Baudran, AFD's Director in Indonesia.

Our role in reducing the use of plastic

The three winners, Mr Fikri Izzaldin, Mr Maulana Saputra and Ms Audrey Ardissa, distinguished themselves by the quality of their drawings, their creativity and the strength of their messages. A fourth prize was awarded to Fikri Izzaldin, who received the most public votes.

For him, despite frequent awareness-raising campaigns, many Indonesians are resigned to the fact that their actions will have no impact on the situation. "Through this comic strip, I just want to remind you that this problem of plastics still exists and will always exist if habits do not start to change now,” he said. “It is not too late. Realize that you have a role to play, however small, in reducing plastic waste, starting with yourself, and with small actions like sorting your waste and reducing the use of plastic bags at home.

"The truth is that there is nothing 'normal' about continuing a lifestyle that we know threatens our own existence,” said 3rd prize winner Audrey Ardissa. “If our livelihoods today are the result of what we have done over the past decades, then our future livelihoods also depend on our actions today. What kind of lifestyle will we pass on to the next generation?

Long-term work

The winners won prizes ranging from 20 million Indonesian rupiahs (approx. 1,200 euros) to 5 million rupiahs (300 euros) and graphic tablets. The prizes were presented on 26 August in the presence of Darwin Trisna Djajawinata, Chief Financial and Operations Officer of PT SMI, Emmanuel Baudran, Director of AFD Jakarta, Stephane Dovert, Director of the French Institute of Indonesia and development partners.

The three winners will also be invited to produce six additional comic strips, following an exchange with AFD experts working on the subject of plastics and with other artists from the Indo-Pacific region (India, Mauritius), thus allowing awareness-raising efforts to continue.



→ Discover our three winners:

Audrey Ardissa

© Audrey Ardissa


Maulana Saputra

© Maulana Saputra


Fikri Izzaldin

© Fikri Izzaldin