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Jakarta Post

Government drafts industrial change road map to reduce plastic waste

  • Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, January 21, 2019   /   06:48 pm
Government drafts industrial change road map to reduce plastic waste Two people dressed in used plastic bags participate in the Plastic Bag Diet campaign during Car Free Day on Jl. MH Thamrin, Central Jakarta, in this file photo. The government is drafting a road map to engage the private sector in achieving its 2025 waste reduction target. (The Jakarta Post/P.J.Leo )

The government has been working on ways to engage the private sector in its waste reduction efforts, particularly plastic waste, by formulating a road map for businesses to reduce the amount of waste it produces.

Industry is one of the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s primary focuses in its plastic waste reduction plans this year, the ministry’s waste management director general Rosa Vivien Ratnawati has said.

“We want to urge [businesses] to shift their paradigm in manufacturing their products, such as by using more environmentally friendly materials, as part of our efforts to cut down on waste production in the upstream,” Rosa recently told The Jakarta Post.

Rosa said that the ministry's road map would cover three industries: food and beverage manufacturing; food and beverage services, and retail.

The draft road map required manufacturing companies to change their package designs to be more environmentally friendly and restrict the use of single-use plastics, she said.

“Another example is to impose a ban on single-use plastic bags for retailers as well as a ban on single-use plastic cutlery and straws for restaurants,” said Rosa.

She added that deliberations on the road map were expected to finish early this year.

The draft  road map is mandated by a 2017 presidential regulation on waste management regulation and national strategy, which lays out an ambitious target to reduce the country's waste volume to 30 percent and recycle 70 percent of its waste by 2025.

The regulation mandates the Environment and Forest Ministry, with the help of the Industry Ministry and regional administrations, to develop and implement a road map requiring manufacturers to contribute to reducing waste production by 2017.

That the draft road map is already behind the schedule stipulated by the presidential regulation has raised questions on whether this would affect its implementation.

Rosa dismissed the concern, saying that the ministry needed the extra time to consult with various stakeholders, including industry and relevant ministries.

“There are no particular obstacles to the deliberation. We only need time to [review the road map],” she said.

President Joko Widodo’s administration has been focusing its efforts on reducing plastic waste following a damning 2015 report published in Science from marine plastic researcher Jenna Jambeck of the University of Georgia.

The report ranks Indonesia as the second biggest plastic waste producer in the world with 3.22 million metric tons (MMT) per year of mismanaged plastic waste. In comparison, China is in the top slot with 8.82 MMT per year of mismanaged plastic waste.  

 A United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) 2014 study stated that fast-moving consumer goods like packaged foods, beverages, disposable tableware and toiletries was the biggest contributor to US$75 billion in environmental losses – or natural capital costs – caused by plastic waste.

Indonesian Food and Beverage Producers Association (GAPMMI) expressed its support for the road map.

“However, the deliberation must involve all stakeholders, including us businesspeople, as the road map should be a bottom-up approach, rather than a top-down one,” said GAPMMI chairman Adhi S. Lukman.

Adhi said the association had yet to be invited to any discussions on the road map.

A Statistics Indonesia (BPS) report released in last month recorded 65.2 million tons of waste produced in 2016. BPS projected that annual waste production would increase by at least 5.9 million tons per year if the industry approach remained unchanged. (ipa)