Tudungan is a Javanese slang word meaning shade. Based in Jakarta Indonesia, we are a not-for-profit organisation that creates sustainable urban shade solutions for Indonesia’s harsh hot climate from waste products. Tudungan works to give new life to waste materials which would otherwise end up on the streets and in our waterways.
Currently there is a huge problem with the disposal of waste in Indonesia. Companies use cheap petrochemical based plastic packaging in their products and advertise on plastic banners and billboards. Much of this waste is tossed on the street as there is very little protocol for the collection of waste, polluting the waterways and larger bodies of water that they flow into. Once this happens the rubbish breaks into unusable pieces which can take many generations to decompose. William Harris states in his article for ‘Science, How Stuff Works’ that petrochemical plastics “in warm water can degrade in as little as a year” which is much quicker than plastics in landfill however as the plastic degrades in the water it emits toxic chemicals that end up in the stomachs of marine animals and washed up on shores.
Tudungan aims to break the current life cycle of waste in Indonesia by taking the plastic waste off the streets before it reaches the waterways and is unable to be reused. We propose to do this by using Indonesia’s ‘trash pickers’ to sort through the waste for us and collect useable pieces of plastic that we are able to buy from them. Medina writes for United Nations University stating that “Scavenging is an important economic activity that provides income to over 15 million people worldwide… one percent of the urban population in developing countries makes a living from scavenging”. Through purchasing plastic from these people we provide an extra source of income for those who depend on sorting through rubbish in order to feed their families. We use this plastic waste to create a variety of different shade solutions for different demographics.
Our ‘Warung’ shade solution shown here today is made from used advertising banners. These banners have been printed on low quality plastic sheeting that tears quite easily – due to their single use production quality. By tearing the plastic sheeting along the grain and weaving these pieces together we have greatly increased the strength of the material and have stopped it from further tearing. Another of our shade solutions is the re-purposed Nipah weaving technique, used in many South-East Asian countries. This technique traditionally uses leaves from the nipah palm utilising the abundance of waste in urban environments and lack of traditional materials. The money generated from the sales of commercial umbrellas products provide us with the opportunity to educate local communities on integrating waste materials with traditional techniques, such as the nipah leaf waste substitute.
Upon visiting XS Project, Managing director Retno Hapsari (Hapsari with XS Project, 2015) explained their upcycling program used donated banners that were made from tough German plastic however, recently companies have been purchasing cheaper banner materials as they are more cost effective. Re-using this waste material has become problematic for XS project, as their products are typically bags that need to be able to withstand holding a certain amount of weight. Retno spoke about the aim of the initiative saying, “the idea is to extend the life of the trash, it’s all about the awareness” This message is intriguing and appealing – educating consumers while also sheltering them from the harsh Equatorial climate.
Tudungan creates products which effectively educate and prevent plastic waste entering waterways by moving the waste to a more sustainable path and extending its end-use. We are a collaborative organisation working hard to change the damaging way we consume and dispose of products and we encourage you to use our methods of up cycling within your own lives. With your cooperation and support we can change the fate of our aquatic bio systems and build a more responsible relationship with the waste we create.
Bradley Saywell, Christian Rodriguez, Fransisca Nadya Atmadja, Bernadette Keil, Talia Jimenez & Olivia Chandra.
Hapsari, R. with XS Project (2015) ‘Plastic and Education’. Interview with 10 July,
Harris, W. (no date) How long does it take for plastics to biodegrade? Available at: http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/how-long-does-it-take-for-plastics-to-biodegrade.htm (Accessed: 12 July 2015)
Indonesia (no date) Available at: http://www.habitat.org/where-we-build/indonesia (Accessed: 12 July 2015)
Nurbianto, B. (2003) ‘Winding road of Jakarta waste management’, The Jakarta Post, 22 June,
Pasang, H., Moore, G. A. and Sitorus, G. (1924) ‘Neighbourhood-based waste management: A solution for solid waste problems in Jakarta, Indonesia’, Waste Management, 27(12), pp. 1924–1938. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2006.09.010
Scrap and Trade: Scavenging Myths (no date) Available at: http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/scavenging-from-waste (Accessed: 12 July 2015)
SN, M. with XS Projects (2015) ‘XS Projects – Marketing Manager (Indonesia global visit)’. Interview with 10 July,
UN-HABITAT.:. Indonesia | Dubai International Award for Best Practices Winners | Integrated People-Driven Reconstruction in Post-Tsunami Aceh, Indonesia (no date) Available at: http://mirror.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=10296&catid=47&typeid=73 (Accessed: 12 July 2015)
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(no date) Available at: http://ww2.unhabitat.org/mediacentre/documents/wuf2006/WUF%207.pdf (Accessed: 12 July 2015a)
(no date) Available at: http://english.forumfairtradeindonesia.org/members/xs-project/ (Accessed: 12 July 2015