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JAKARTA: Under normal circumstances, a small mosque on the outskirts of Jakarta built from 1,208 used plastic bottles will be destroyed with the sound of people praying and reading the Koran during the month of Ramadan.

This will be the first Ramadan since the 42 square meter mosque was built in late 2019, after the founding of the Garden of Ideas – a restaurant with a back-to-nature theme – which houses the facility.

The corona virus pandemic may have prevented joint prayer, but the mosque’s plastic recycling design still attracts attention.

“Because we have this prayer room, many residents around here have expressed interest in organizing meetings such as the Koran recitation groups there. But unfortunately, we can’t do that now because we have to close restaurants because of the rules of social distance, “Handoko Hendroyono, owner of Kebun Idea, told Arab News.

The pavilion, named Kotakrat, was originally built to be part of a local architecture exhibition in the city of Bintaro.

“The concept of the project was good because it reused waste materials, and there was a need for prayer rooms for our guests and employees, so I agreed to make Kotakrat to be built in our space. Now we have a very good place to pray. Many visitors do not realize that it is actually a prayer room, “he added.

Designed and built by the architect firm PSA Studio, Kotakrat is part of an architectural project to build a multipurpose “good space” to meet the social needs of the community.

“This kindness room can be in the form of kiosks, places of worship, shelters, shelters, security posts and many other places. Built from plastic crates that can be easily found and installed to form spaces for various architectural forms and purposes. Cases can be arranged to function as roofs, partitions and walls, “Ario Wirastomo, the company’s main architect, told Arab News.

The construction uses 1,208 plastic bottle crates to form the walls and roof of the prayer hall, and benches for visitors to take off their shoes before entering.

It also provides a water faucet for the congregation to perform ablution.

Architects use bolts to join crates. They also use polycarbonate roofs supported by hollow metal frames.

The mosque has two separate entrances for men and women, although it does not separate men and women in the 8.64-square-meter prayer room which can accommodate three rows of nine worshipers. The first row is for priests, while the other two lines are for men and women.

“Because the prayer room is a public place that Muslims will look for to pray five times wherever they go, we hope that the Kotakrat room will be durable and functional for a long time,” Wirastomo said.

Despite reusing disposed materials, Wirastomo said he could not claim the project was environmentally friendly but he hoped people would be more aware about waste recycling.

Indonesia is one of the world’s top plastic waste producers with 5.05 million tons of plastic waste produced annually, of which 81 percent is mismanaged and contributes 10 percent to the global total of mismanaged plastic waste. Our World In Data projects that Indonesia will contribute nearly 11 percent of globally unmanaged plastic waste by 2025.

The country’s chief marine affairs and investment minister, Luhut Pandjaitan, recently said that Indonesia had made an action plan aimed at reducing 70 percent of plastic pollution by 2025, hoping to be free of plastic waste by 2040.


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