The Jakarta Post
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has criticized the government policy to import plastics, arguing that other countries including China, the largest plastic consumer, had prohibited plastic imports.
She added neighboring countries like Thailand and Malaysia had done the same thing.
“But Indonesia welcomes plastic imports,” Susi said during a discussion in Jakarta on Tuesday as quoted by tempo.co. She explained that only 40 percent of plastics could be recycled while the remaining 60 percent was dumped.
She called on the government to stop plastic imports because it was not in line with policy introduced in international fora, including the United Nations.
She highlighted that through Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, the government had promised to reduce plastic waste by 70 percent in 2025.
Susi added that Indonesia was the world's second largest producer of plastic waste that mostly ended up in the sea.
Research conducted by the Jambeck Research Group in 2015 showed that Indonesia contributed 3.22 million tons of plastic waste to the sea, while China was estimated to contribute 8.82 million tons.
The minister said if the policy to reduce the use of plastic, particularly single-use plastic, did not work, in 2030 Indonesia would see more plastic in the sea than fish. (bbn)