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Hospitality workers lift a sack of collected marine debris from a beach in eastern Bintan, Indonesia. Image: Seven Clean Seas Workers from Indonesia’s decimated tourism and hospitality sector have taken on new jobs created to clean the archipelago’s plastic-littered beaches. On Bintan island, usually a popular destination for Singaporean holidaymakers, furloughed workers have been hired by ocean clean-up and plastic offsetting firm Seven Clean Seas to comb the beaches for litter. The workers, which have been hired on a weekly contract basis, are being paid the same daily rate as their usual jobs, plus 25 per cent extra if they collect 25 kilograms of plastic. Indonesia’s tourism and hospitality sector, which employs 9 per cent of the country’s workforce and contributes to 4 per cent of the economy, has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism numbers are expected to drop from 16 million visitors in 2019 to five million this year, the sector is set to lose US$10 billion in revenue and hundreds of thousands of formal and informal hospitality workers have lost their jobs. The pandemic has also spelled bad news for the world’s oceans. Plastic pollution is believed to have worsened as a result of […]

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