A customer pays for his purchases at a mini market in Pasar Baru, Jakarta, on Feb. 21. A legislator in Ambon, Maluku province, has criticized the central government's implementation of the new policy that requires businesses to charge for plastic shopping bags, saying that it has led to confusion and discrepancies. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A)

Ambon Legislator Laments 'Flawed' Implementation of Paid Plastic Bag Policy

BY :VONNY LITAMAHUPUTTY & JEIS MONTESORI

MARCH 01, 2016

Ambon. A legislator in Ambon, Maluku province, has criticized the central government's implementation of the new policy that requires businesses to charge for plastic shopping bags, saying that it has led to confusion and discrepancies.

Ambon is one of 20 cities nationwide to adopt the policy, initiated by the Ministry for the Environment in an effort to reduce pollution caused by plastic bags. The ministry has however provided provincial and local governments with the discretion to formulate how much customers would have to pay for plastic bags.

"Some [retailers in Ambon] charge anything between Rp 500 and Rp 5,000 [4 cents to 40 cents] per bag, with no regulations to refer to. This disadvantages customers," Ambon Legislative Council member Jusuf Latumeten said on Tuesday (01/03).

Jusuf urged the city administration to reconsider the program, saying that it is placing a heavy burden on local residents amid the poor economic conditions in the city.

City secretary A.G. Latuheru said his office would evaluate the situation and formulate the best price customers should pay for plastic shopping bags.

"We will fix every flaw so that the policy will bring good to the people instead of burdening them," he said.

Indonesia ranks second to China as the world's largest producers of plastic waste, generating an estimated 187.2 million tons per year, according to a study published in the journal Science last year.

SHARE