Indonesia: Bali wins plastic-ban battle in Court, steps closer to being plastic-free island

Ni Komang Erviani The Jakarta Post 15 Jul 19;

Bali is on track to reduce plastic waste on the resort island after the Supreme Court rejected a judicial review that challenged the local administration’s limit on single-use plastic.

“[The verdict] means that the gubernatorial regulation that limits the use of single-use plastic has a strong legal position and can be applied across Bali,” Bali Governor Wayan Koster said Thursday.

In December, the governor introduced Gubernatorial Regulation (Pergub) No. 97/2018, which limits the use of single-use plastic, hoping that the policy would lead to a 70 percent decline in Bali’s marine plastics within a year.

While environmentalists lauded the policy, business owners were quick to protest it, arguing that it would affect their businesses.

The Plastic Recyclers Association (ADUPI) and two businessmen, Didie Tjahjadi and Agus Hartono Boedi Santoso, challenged the regulation in the Supreme Court, saying it violated other government regulations. The court rejected the request for a judicial review and ordered the plaintiffs to pay Rp 1 million (US$71) to cover the costs of the case.

“An extraordinary policy to limit single-use plastic is urgently needed to address the plastic waste crisis,” the verdict reads.

Koster emphasized that the Supreme Court’s decision would boost the spirit of Bali to achieve its goal to free itself from plastic waste.

“All stakeholders must comply with the governor's regulation to maintain the sacredness and harmony of Bali,” he said.