An Indonesian cafe worker regularly dresses up as Spider-Man to pick up rubbish strewn on the streets and beaches -- in order to have people follow his example. Rudi Hartono had earlier struggled to persuade residents of his small coastal community of Parepare -- but thanks to his new avatar, people have started following him.
"At first, I did the same activity without wearing this costume and it did not attract the public's attention in order for them to join and help pick up trash," 36-year-old Hartono, wearing his red and blue Spider-Man costume told Reuters.
He added, "After wearing this costume, it turns out the public's response was extraordinary."
Research says Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country, generates 3.2 million tonnes a year of waste, with nearly half ending up in the sea. With a population of around 142,000, Parepare produces around 2.7 tonnes of unmanaged waste per day, according to data released in 2018.
Hartono admitted he bought the Spider-Man outfit simply to amuse his nephew, before others in his town took notice. He said he hoped the government would throw more weight behind efforts to clean up trash and tighten rules on waste management including on single-use plastic bags.
(with inputs from Reuters)