Balikpapan (Greeners) – A senior official on Friday (4/5) encouraged all Southeast Asia nation to develop policies and strategies to achieve sustainable city in the effort to tackle complex and dynamic environmental issues.
Indonesia hosted the 16th ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC) on May 2-3, in Balikpapan of East Kalimantan,which aimed to establish a working platform to achieve sustainable city, especially on reducing waste plastic.
“Advance and out of the box policies and strategies are not business as usual but bold and strict policies and strategies, for example reducing waste plastic through limitation or banning the use of plastic waste, single-use plastic bag in retail industry,” said Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, Director General of Waste, Toxic, and Hazardous Toxic Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
Ratnawati said that marine plastic waste was also a priority at the meeting, adding that more than 50 percent of cities and capital cities are located in coastal areas and the waste came from the cities. Hence, she said, solid waste management must be applied in the cities to reduce and prevent solid waste leak, especially to oceans.
“Specifically, we underline on plastic waste of which amounts to 80 percent coming from cities and terrestrial. The number must be immediately solved considering the problem is terrestrial,” she said adding the meeting also saw Indonesia declared limitation on plastic waste in Balikpapan, Banjarmasin, Malang, Cimahi and Sigi.
“Limiting plastic waste has been implemented and initiatives of the cities, such as Balikpapan, Banjarmasin, Malang and Sigi districts. There four other cities but they have not included it into regional policies. We will keep on encouraging the cities to reduce plastic waste, at least in their own cities,” said Novrizal, director of Waste Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
Furthermore, he said that Indonesia had proposed marine plastic was as one of the agenda at the 16th AWGESC.
The declaration is an effort and significant contribution considering Indonesia has committed to reduce 30 percent of waste from its source and 70 percent of marine waste by 2024.
Reports by Dewi Purningsih