As part of the government’s efforts to cut down on waste, eight ministries declared on Thursday that Indonesia produces between 0.27 and 0.59 million tons of marine debris each year.
“[The ministries previously] had various figures before we set the agreed figure. But now we have a standardized [figure],” said Laksana Tri Handoko, head of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the organization that calculated the baseline figure.
With a fixed baseline, the ministries can now quantitatively implement the government’s commitment to reducing marine debris by 70 percent by 2025, as stipulated under a National Action Plan launched in June 2017, Handoko told reporters after a closed-door meeting with the ministries' officials in Jakarta on Thursday.
The ministries are the Coordinating Maritime and Investment Ministry, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, Environment and Forestry Ministry and National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas).
The Education and Culture Ministry, Public Works Ministry, Industry Ministry and Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry are also involved in the agreement.
The government was pressured into reducing marine debris after researcher Jenna Jambeck published a damning report in 2015, which ranked Indonesia second on the list of the world’s biggest plastic waste producers with 187.2 million tons, behind China with 262.9 million tons.
Jambeck’s study calculated that Indonesia produced around 1.29 million tons of marine debris each year, which is at least twice the government and LIPI’s figure.
The Environment and Forestry Ministry’s director general for waste management, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, said on Thursday that some ministries were dissatisfied with Jambeck’s study and thus “have been trying to create a baseline using data from Indonesian sources.”
Maritime and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo added that the government “will focus efforts on the priority tourism destinations” in reference to the 10 priority tourism sites such as Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara and Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara.