Cleanup Update: How RIO Will Tackle the Historic Cleanup of Tanjung Burung Beach

From January 16th - February 6th, RIO will be making history as we amass hundreds of locals and resources to tackle one of the most polluted beaches in the world: Tanjung Burung in Indonesia. As “The Big Day” approaches, we are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support we have received.



About Tanjung Burung


Tanjung Burung is located in Indonesia, a country that has been one of the hardest hit by plastic pollution. RIO CEO Kieran Kelly discovered Tanjung Burung during a nearby beach cleanup and was shocked by the magnitude of plastic that was choking nearly every inch of the beach.


There is so much plastic at Tanjung Burung that restoring this beach to its clean, natural state would make this the biggest beach cleanup in history, and RIO is ready to take on the challenge.


An Outpouring of Support


Thanks to the support of the local and global community, as well as the support of the Indonesian government, military, and Indonesian Special forces, we have received an overwhelming number of volunteers and resources to help us tackle this project.


The Indonesian Military is providing large watercrafts to help with moving equipment and personnel to this remote beach as well as aiding in the removal of the plastic sitting above and below the water. Private companies across Indonesia have donated front-end loaders and other heavy equipment that will be used to clear out polluted sand and debris that cover even more plastic trash hidden beneath the surface.


Additionally, between 2,000-5,000 volunteers have signed on to lend a hand or a shovel to clearing the beach of debris.


Our goal is to utilize these volunteers as safely as possible, and so we have divided the work into phases to ensure that we clear as much plastic pollution as possible without compromising anyone’s health or safety.


Phase One, January 16th


RIO will partner local fishermen and about 20 local fishing boats to head out into the bay that Tanjung Burung sits on and use their fishing tools to collect plastic sitting at the bottom of the ocean as well as floating on top. This will help stop the “bleeding” of plastic onto the beach and begin the process of healing for this ecosystem.



Phase Two, February 6th aka “The Big Day”


This is the day where we hope to smash records for the most plastic ever recovered during a beach cleanup. With the help of the Indonesian Military, we will land personnel and heavy equipment on Tanjung Burung and clear out hundreds of tons of plastic pollution from above and below the sand.


This effort will be massive and would not have been possible without the cooperation of the Indonesian government, military, and dozens of private companies who are all committed to restoring this once beautiful beach to its natural state.



Phase Three, Date TBD


Due to COVID, we are still establishing a date to ensure the health and safety of our nearly 5,000 civilian volunteers. Additionally, we have decided to utilize them to help clear out the beaches and river that surround Tanjung Burung. This will allow us to maintain proper social distancing, make an impact on a wider community, and prevent more plastic from returning to Tanjung Burung via the river that feeds into its bay.


We could not be more grateful for all the support we have received, and we are so excited to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Remember, our work doesn’t stop once Tanjung Burung is clean, but instead when everyone on this planet can enjoy a healthy, plastic-free environment.


You can read more about RIO’s mission to end ocean plastic pollution and how we are making products that promote a cleaner, more sustainable future for everyone.