Plastic waste in the port area of Kampung Akuarium in Penjaringan, North Jakarta. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Gov't Encourages More Partnerships With Private Sector to Reduce Plastic Waste

BY :DIANA MARISKA

FEBRUARY 21, 2020

Jakarta. The government has encouraged more partnerships with the private sector to reduce plastic waste, arguing that a recent presidential decree mandating such collaborations has already helped Indonesia go some way toward reaching its plastic waste-reduction target. 

Safri Burhanuddin, the deputy minister for human resources, science and technology and maritime culture at the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment, said the government is optimistic about its target to reduce plastic waste in the country by 70 percent by 2025.

He added the government has always encouraged the private sector to join the fight against plastic waste.

"Our own data show that since the presidential decree was released in 2018, we've already reduced plastic waste by 11 percent," Safri said in Jakarta on Thursday.

The regulation he mentioned was the Presidential Decree No. 83/2018 on combating marine plastic waste, which mentioned five government strategies: a national movement to increase awareness of the danger of plastic waste, land-sourced waste management, waste prevention in coastal and ocean areas, enhanced law enforcement and research and development.

Safri said one of the results of the decree was the launch of the National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) last year. NPAP is a platform for policymakers, experts, business sectors and non-governmental organizations to discuss measures needed to reach the government's plastic reduction target.

According to Safri, the private sector can and should play an important role in reducing plastic waste. This is why the government has formed partnerships with several big corporations, including Nestle, Dow, Coca Cola Amatil and Chandra Asri Petrochemical, to improve its plastic waste management. 

"Our point is [that corporations should] take the responsibility to ensure their products [contain less plastic material]. The new EPR [Extended Producer's Responsibilities) regulation requires manufacturers to reduce plastic waste from their products, including packaging, by 30 percent," Safri said while adding the government wants this target to be achieved by 2029.

Safri said collaborations between the government and the private sector have already resulted in several successful tech-based plastic waste reduction projects.

One of them is the "plastic road tar" project, or mixing low-value plastics into asphalt mix used in roadworks. The current target for the project is to reuse 2,100 tons of plastic waste in 700 kilometers of new roads in 77 locations,

Meanwhile, a high-tech waste-to-energy project is planned for 12 cities including Jakarta, Bandung, Solo and Denpasar. An experimental facility has already been built at the Bantar Gebang landfill in Bekasi, West Java, in collaboration with a Japanese company. The project will produce electricity from pollution-free waste burning.

Another project the government is working on with the private sector produces "plastic" bags from biodegradable material. The government's target is to replace 10 percent of single-use plastic bags used in the country with this biodegradable version. One of the biggest retailers in Indonesia, Matahari Department Store, has begun using a shopping bag made from cassava fibers in their stores.

Safri said more private companies should partner with the government to reduce plastic waste because their contribution would be massive. 

"The NPAP has helped the government increase the pace of its plastic-reduction programs. Private companies can also help by raising awareness about the importance of protecting the environment," Safri said.

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