Rubbish Road –
a research journey (Pt. 1)

FiveOceans is working on a study to explore the waste streams in Indonesia on land. Inspired by the question “Where does your waste go?” We are committed to revealing first ever insights into the unknown and informal pathways of plastic waste across different islands.

The Initial Spark

Like many people in our generation, we fell in love with Indonesia, its waves, culture and people. Unlike most, supposedly, we also developed a profound fascination for the ugly side: ubiquitous waste. For us, there is something intriguing about how we as humans are unable to deal with our residue, and that waste is one of the biggest challenges of humankind.

In interviews about the ecoFin, often people have asked how we came up with the idea to make a surfboard fin from recycled rubbish, sourced from the dirty beaches of our favourite surf spots. The answer is pretty obvious. Surfing these epic waves, but paddling through floating debris of plastic made us conscious about the problem and somehow struck a spark.


From Knowledge to Action

We have built Five Oceans on the pillars of a bigger mission. The humble ecoFin project, now grown to a globally known brand, encouraged us to dig deeper and think about some of the bigger picture issues. Where does the waste go, and how? And why doesn’t it work how it should be.

Understanding of the core problems is potentially the first step to more effective solutions. Whereas we are convinced, these solutions are manifold. Beach clean-up initiatives are as important as policy changes. Sometimes it needs a bucket, sometimes it needs a system change.

This is the first article of the “Rubbish Road” series, which covers the field research work about the Indonesian waste streams by land. For that we deploy GPS trackers in various locations and eventually aim to map the journey of waste from remote communities to (hopefully) recycling facilities.


You can follow the journey on Instagram #RubbishRoad and @joinFiveOceans IG Stories.

We are doing our best to capture the full story and behind-the-scenes moments. Feel free to contact us with any questions and thoughts.


Please contact for partnership opportunities.



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