Retailers Stopped Paid Plastic Bag Program

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Jakarta (Greeners) – Due to no official government regulation, Indonesian Retailers Association stopped paid plastic bag program starting on Oct 1 which had sparked controversies in the country.

Roy Mande, chief of Aprindo, said that the program was to support government’s initiative to reduce plastic bag use however the association considered the tryout had caused confusion as there was no legal basis.

“Modern retailers accepted criticism from the public which had led to potential legal suit as considered to charge without any legal basis. This is still going on though we have socialized the program through media,” said Mande. “Considering this development, we decided to make the plastic bags free again to all modern retailers starting on Oct until Ministerial regulation is issued by the government.”

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Try outs for paid plastic bag have been implemented between Feb 21 to May 31. During these try outs, modern retailers have reported their spending for plastic bags to Ministry of Environment and Forestry through Aprindo and the results were evaluated by the government.

Based on the ministry’s monitoring and evaluation, there was 25-30 percent decline on plastic bag use for the first three months. In addition, 87.2 percent have agreed to the program and 91.6 percent had brought their own bags.

“Consequently, the government had decided to continue the program under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Letter No. SE/8/PSLB3/PS/PLB.0/5/2016 on Plastic Bag Reduce Through Paid Plastic Bag Implementation while waiting for ministerial regulation to be assessed,” he said.

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Furthermore, he said that Aprindo still supported government’s program.

“We hope that the ministerial regulation on paid plastic bag can be issued as soon possible so that the implementation can be optimized and achieve its purpose. Aprindo also available to give any input on the ministerial regulation,” he said.

Director of Waste Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Sudirman, said his office will need to study on the association’s decision to stop the paid plastic bag program for modern retailers.

Nevertheless, he said that the Association cannot stop the program under the basis of pros and cons that have been going on.

“I will need to study it. I don’t know the real reason. It is very tricky of them to announce it the end of the week. They haven’t even give the financial report that we asked,” he said.

Reports by Danny Kosasih