Project Stop

Project STOP helps cities design and implement waste management programs to increase collection rates and keep plastics out of the environment. 

TARGET USERS: Individuals, Businesses, Industry, Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: Project STOP does not own the waste nor operate a collection, sorting, recycling, treatment or landfill business. All profits from the sale of recyclables and organics are kept by the local community and used to cover collection and sorting worker salaries and operating costs of the waste system.



An estimated 80% of marine debris comes from land-based sources, with 50% originating from just five Asian economies: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. As economic growth has increased in these countries, so has plastic consumption, which has outpaced the development of effective solid waste management systems.


Borealis and SYSTEMIQ launched Project STOP in 2017.

Project STOP is a frontline initiative creating comprehensive, economically sustainable waste management systems in areas of high plastic leakage into the ocean.

A key pathway to success involves intensive, locally appropriate, on the ground efforts city by city, region by region, backed by national agreements and international support. Cities are assisted with investment, technical skills transfer, and embedded implementation teams. This is the work that results in permanent, verifiable ocean plastic reduction.

Project STOP works directly with cities to build and fund low-cost, circular, replicable, zero-leakage waste system with:

  • Measurable impact: projects directly reduce ocean pollution.
  • Long-term frontline implementation: The team works closely within local government agencies to provide implementation support and funding for multiple years
  • Transparency: They track 14 waste management metrics, and are working to set a standard for determining local ocean plastic flux levels.
  • Quality supply of clean waste feedstock and circular revenue streams: They derive as much value from the waste stream as possible, finding markets for ‘lower-value’ flexible plastics and processing organic waste for local business markets.

Project STOP provides comprehensive waste management solutions at the city level, with funding. Other waste management solutions do not necessarily compete with Project STOP, but rather such solutions can be adopted and implemented at the local level by the Project STOP team.


The Indonesian government announced a bold commitment to reduce Indonesia’s ocean plastic levels 70% by 2025 and created a Marine Debris Action Plan.

Delivery of its commitment relies on a rapid acceleration of waste management systems at the city level, combined with system level policy, funding, behavior change and innovation in material design approaches.

Project STOP aims to support this commitment by creating cleaner, circular waste solutions that favor recycling.

Launched in 2017 at the Our Ocean conference in Malta, the first Project STOP city partnership is in Muncar, a coastal fishing community in Banyuwangi, Indonesia. With minimal waste services in place, the majority of citizens are forced to dump their waste directly into the environment. Muncar was chosen as the first STOP location due to the seriousness of the challenge, coupled with strong leadership and environmental commitment at national, regency and local levels. See case study here:

Share this post

Read other articles