More Cities Support Paid Plastic Bag Program

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Sosialisasi program kantong plastik berbayar. Foto: greeners.co

Jakarta (Greeners) – Ministry of Environment and Forestry gained more supports from provinces committed to implement paid plastic bag policy. Previously, 17 cities have stated their commitment on the policy. Another six cities volunteered to participate in the program which will be officially launched at National Waste Awareness Day, on February 21.

Director General of Waste, Toxic, and Hazardous Substance Management Tuti Hendrawati Mintarsih said that the support came as voluntary actions from cities which are aware of the concerning amount of plastic bag use in the country. However, she added, there will be more cities participating on the policy.

“Currently, there are 22 cities with the addition of six [cities]. I predict there will be more cities. These cities will make a statement that they agree to support the commitment. Will it not be great if more cities involved in the program? Their initiatives are much needed,” she said to Greeners in Jakarta, on Thursday (21/01).

Related to regulation, Tuti said that the policy must be implemented by a regional regulation (Perda) which must be passed through its house of representatives hence it would be impossible to be effective by February 2016 in conjunction of National Waste Awareness Day celebration.

Hence, many of regional lawmakers proposed to refer to Mayor Regulation or Governor Regulation, or refer to the 2008 Ministerial Regulation on the paid plastic bag.

As for pricing and selling mechanism, Tuti said that they were still discussing with Ministry of Trade, Indonesian Retail Merchant Association (Aprindo), and other related parties. On the pricing, she added, it would still be Rp 500 as the lowest price but they have yet to decide on the highest price.

Meanwhile, Banda Aceh Mayor Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal welcomes the government’s program and stated that socialization had already being conducted in 19 villages on plastic bag use by 2015. He added that Aceh had already implemented a mayor regulation on plastic bag use.

“We are hoping that it can start in places such as markets involving green communities with city administration to do socialization in schools and routine meetings with village leaders. We will establish special team to accelerate the program in Banda Aceh,” he said.

Furthermore, Ambon Mayor suggested to apply pricing up to Rp 5,000 and requested for plastic bag use mechanism be handled by city administration.

“We suggest for Rp 5,000 so it will be expensive which will make people to bring their own bags. We also intended for all plastic distributors, through Perda, to pay plastic distribution,” he said.

Ministry of Environment and Forestry will start its policy on paid plastic bag use in 17 cities in Indonesia, at the National Waste Awareness Day, on February 21, which will be held in Jakarta, Bandung, Bekasi, Depok, Bogor, Tangerang, Solo, Semarang, Surabaya, Denpasar, Palembang, Medan, Balikpapan, Banjarmasin, Makassar, Ambon and Papua.

The six cities are Kendari, Malang, Pekanbaru, Yogyakarta, Banda Aceh and South Tangerang. Earlier, the Indonesian Retail Merchant Association had agreed on the plan set by the ministry.

Reports by Danny Kosasih

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