The river cleaning project "Bekasi River Cleanup" (BRIC) was launched in Indonesia in 2019 by the Schwarz Group together with the environmental organisation One Earth - One Ocean, plus a local waste disposal company, and with the support of the authorities in Bekasi. BRIC, was set up as a "REmove" project as part of the Group-wide sustainability strategy, and has now, according to the Schwarz Group, been developed to the point where it can be handed over to local stakeholders.
With the "REmove" activities and various clean-up projects such as BRIC, the Schwarz Group says it wants to help rid oceans, rivers and lakes of plastic waste. The "REmove" field of action is part of the Group's holistic, international "REset Plastic" plastics strategy, which also includes the environmental services provider Prezero. In Bekasi, which borders the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, the BRIC river cleaning project used so-called "SeeHamsters," solar-powered catamarans specially designed for removing litter from rivers. With the help of the "SeeHamsters," the rivers and riverbanks in Bekasi were to be cleared of waste a section at a time. To this end, according to the Schwarz Group, the Indonesian government hired local helpers, known as "orange-troops," who, with the help of the catamarans, collect waste from and around the Bekasi River. Since starting three years ago, the "orange-troops" with the boats have reportedly been collecting up to 500 kilograms of waste daily from the river and shore area. About 60 percent of the garbage fished out of the river by the helpers is returned to the local material cycles and recycled by Waste4Change, a local waste management company, explained the Schwarz Group. Some of the successes since achieved include the development of an infrastructure for the removal and recycling of river waste, the creation of jobs, improved working conditions and CO2-neutral project operation. In addition to financial support, the Schwarz Group has, above all, passed on its expertise in the management of recyclables. At the beginning of 2023, the project is to be handed over to a local team.