Indonesia targeting to reduce plastic waste by 70 percent

Antara 24 Feb 17;

Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government aims to reduce 70 percent of the approximately nine million tons of the total plastic waste a year, as a contribution to protecting the environment.

"We have set such a target in our medium-term plan," Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya stated during a campaign against plastic waste as one of the side events of the "World Ocean Summit" in Samuh Beach, Nusa Dua, on Thursday.

Taking into the account the fact that 14 percent of the total 65 million tons of waste in Indonesia is plastic and has detrimental effects on the environment, Nurbaya has encouraged greater synergy between the central and local governments to uphold the same commitment of reducing plastic waste.

According to the minister, communities that work for environmental protection and preservation cannot do their duty optimally if there is no support and commitment from the government.

At the same time, the ministry is still discussing and evaluating the plan to continue imposing the tariff trial on using plastic bags, which was earlier implemented in shopping centers and modern shops.

Nurbaya pointed out that such a policy has indeed helped to significantly reduce plastic waste. However, the government should also take into account the aspirations and interests of the merchants, retailers, and producers of plastics.

At a discussion with some related stakeholders, the use of biodegradable plastic emerged as one of the best solutions.

While the businessmen are taking some time to carry out the packaging process, if the policy to reduce plastic is implemented, they can also seek another opportunity by recycling the plastic waste.

The total ban on the use of plastic bags will also have an effect on the social outlook, mainly because plastic bags can still be used in traditional markets.

"Hence, the government must be able to negotiate by discussing with several stakeholders," Nurbaya added.

Reported by Dewa Wiguna

Indonesia to reduce plastic wastes by 70 percent

Antara 23 Feb 17;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is committed to reducing plastic wastes by 70 percent by the end of 2025, initiated with the launch of a national action plan for tackling plastic wastes in oceans.

Indonesia, along with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has launched a campaign to remove plastic wastes in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday.

"By the end of 2025, we will reduce 70 percent of the plastic wastes. Indonesia has launched a national action plan for tackling marine plastic wastes," Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan stated in a press release received by ANTARA here, Thursday.

The national action plan contains concrete strategies and measures to handle plastic wastes on land, in coastal areas, and in the sea.

"The government will provide funding of up to US$1 billion per year to implement the strategy," he noted.

According to Panjaitan, the financial support will significantly contribute to implementing the national program to make Indonesia free of wastes.

He said that marine plastic wastes pose a threat to the existence of fish, mammals, sea birds, and coral reefs in the world.

"Those negatively affected by the wastes are the locals, as tourists will not visit places that are full of plastic wastes," he remarked.

Panjaitan pointed out that Indonesia has been successful in its campaign against fish poachers and armed pirates. The government is now ready to face the challenge of tackling marine plastic debris.

"We are more than ready to play an active role in handling marine plastic wastes and be at the forefront of the UN global campaign for cleaning the seas," he emphasized.

The launch event was attended by Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya and UNEP Director Erik Solheim.(*)

Indonesia to Reduce Plastic Waste 70% by 2025
Ratri M. Siniwi Jakarta Globe 24 Feb 17;

Jakarta. The government has set a target to reduce plastic waste by 70 percent to preserve the environment.

Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said Indonesia's generates up to 65 million tons of waste annually, with 14 percent, or 9 million tons, of it consisting of plastic.

"Therefore, we are pushing for cooperation between local administrations and the national government to commit to the target, and to create awareness of the impact plastic waste has on the environment," Siti said in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Thursday (23/02).

Local governments play a vital role, she added, as the community will not take heed if there are no consistent efforts set as example by governments.

"It's hard to get local governments to work if the central government is inconsistent and provides no guidelines," she added.

The commitment had also been followed by Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Panjaitan, who said the target is set to be accomplished by 2025.

"The government will provide a budget of up to $1 billion annually to execute the strategy," Luhut told to Antara news agency.

The strategy is part of the national action plan for waste management in oceans, in conjunction with the United Nations Environmental Program.

Luhut said plastic waste is threatening fisheries and coral reefs all over the world, and that it also endangers marine tourism in Indonesia.

"The ones who are affected by this are local residents, because tourists won't come back to plastic-contaminated destinations," he said.

Saving ocean requires global effort, cooperation
I Wayan Juniarta The Jakarta Post 23 Feb 17;

The opening panel of the World Ocean Summit on Thursday morning saw three ministers and a senior-ranking European Commission official acknowledge that harnessing the potential of the ocean and protecting it for the future generations are tasks too big and complex for any single country to deal with.

The panel, titled “The ocean economy—A whale of an opportunity?”, featured Indonesia’s Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, Bangladesh’s Minister of Environment and Forests Anwar Hossain Manju, Portugal’s Minister of Sea Ana Paula Vitorino, and European Commission’s Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella with The Economist’s Asia columnist, Dominic Ziegler, moderating.

Luhut used plastic debris as an example of the complexities of the ocean problem and the necessity to mount a concerted, global response. He pointed out during his visit to the western part of Indonesia he encountered plastic debris originating from Singapore.

“I believe that some of the plastic debris from Indonesia have washed ashore in Australia. So we have to deal with this problem together,” he said.

Read also: Government orders another study into Benoa Bay reclamation project:

Vella summed the shared sentiment among the speakers when he said that “the way forward now is cooperating globally.”

"We are not talking about [a] European environment, Chinese environment, we have one global environment with the global solution and you have to take […] global action,” he said.

The speakers also called all stakeholders to allocate greater resources to educate and promote environmental-friendly entrepreneurship among the younger generation. (yan)

Indonesia pledges $1bn a year to curb ocean waste
Only China dumps more plastic in the ocean than Indonesia. But by 2025, the world’s largest archipelago aims to reduce marine waste by 70%
Johnny Langenheim The Guardian 2 Mar 17;

Indonesia has pledged up to $1bn a year to dramatically reduce the amount of plastic and other waste products polluting its waters. The announcement was made by Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs at last week’s 2017 World Oceans Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Pandjaitan told delegates at the conference that Indonesia would achieve a 70% reduction in marine waste within eight years. He proposed developing new industries that use biodegradable materials such as cassava and seaweed to produce plastic alternatives. Other measures could include a nationwide tax on plastic bags as well as a sustained public education campaign.

The World Bank estimates that each of Indonesia’s 250 million inhabitants is responsible for between 0.8 and 1kg of plastic waste per annum. Only China dumps more waste in the ocean, according to a 2015 report in the journal Science.

The world’s second biggest plastic polluter also boasts the world’s highest levels of marine biodiversity. Indonesia lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle; its incredibly rich coral reef ecosystems support crucial fisheries, provide food security for millions and are a growing draw for tourists.

Plastic pollution is just one of the threats to these ecosystems services, but it’s a serious one. A recent study suggests that by 2050, there could be more plastic than biomass in the world’s oceans. Plastics have entered the marine food chain and are already reaching our dinner plates.

Indonesia’s commitment is part of the UN’s new Clean Seas campaign, which aims to tackle consumer plastics through a range of actions – from cutting down on single use plastics such as shopping bags and coffee cups to pressuring firms to cut down on plastic packaging. Nine countries have already joined Indonesia in signing up to the campaign, including Uruguay, which will impose a tax on single use plastic bags and Costa Rica, which is promising better waste management and education.

But Indonesia’s target of a 70% reduction by 2025 is ambitious. Across the country’s 17,000 islands there is poor public understanding of the problems created by plastic waste.

Companies produce small scale products such as single use shampoo packets and confectionery that are popular in communities where cash flow pressures and habit prevent more sustainable consumption. Add poor waste management infrastructure and the scale of the challenge comes into sharp focus.

During rainy season, thousands of tonnes of rubbish discarded in rivers and waterways washes up on Indonesia’s shores. Heavy machinery is often brought in to clear the tourist beaches of Bali and local communities and non-profits are constantly organising large scale beach clean ups.

Last year, a tax on single use plastic bags was trialed in 23 cities across Indonesia. While the government reported a big reduction in plastic bag use, there was significant resistance both from consumers and industry, according to Siti Nurbaya, Indonesia’s minister for the environment. This is delaying a bill to impose a nationwide tax of not less than Rp.200 (1p) per plastic bag.

Environmentalists will be hoping that the promised funding effectively channels resources and expertise into public awareness and education programmes, improvements in waste management, pressure on industry and initiatives that encourage alternatives to plastic packaging.

The UN campaign reminds us all, however, that plastic pollution is a problems we can all address with some very simple changes in behaviour.