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Jakarta Post

Indonesia relies on imported plastics as recycling woes hold nation back

  • Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, June 18, 2019   /  08:28 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Officers examine the contents of an imported container and find illegal plastic waste in it. Sixty-five containers were confiscated at Batu Ampar Port in Batam, Riau Islands, on June 14. The containers were supposed to contain only clean plastic scraps, but all kinds of plastics were found in them.(JP/Fadli)

The country’s plastic industry must import plastic scraps because its waste management system has failed to produce a sufficient supply of the plastic that is needed for raw materials, a government official has said. The Industry Ministry’s director for the chemical downstream industry, Taufiek Bawazier, said local industry players had to import 350,000 tons of plastic scrap last year to meet the national demand of 7.3 million tons. Local plastic collectors only contributed 1.1 million tons, he said, with the remaining plastic coming from locally produced sources at 2.3 million tons and virgin plastic imports at 3.5 million. “If we establish a good waste management system, which is the job of the Environment and Forestry Ministry and local administrations as stipulated in the 2008 law on waste management, industry players won’t need to import,”...