Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Monday (05/06) called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to increase cooperation in reducing plastic waste. (Photo courtesy of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs)

Indonesia Urges Asean to Fight Against Plastic Waste


JUNE 07, 2017

Jakarta. Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan on Monday (05/06) called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to increase cooperation in reducing plastic waste.

"Strategically, cooperation in addressing the issue of plastic waste in the ocean can serve as a strong foundation to strengthen existing maritime cooperation and bridge our differences on waste management," Luhut said, as quoted in a press release by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs.

During a luncheon with representatives of 10 Asean countries in New York, Luhut emphasized the importance of cooperation across the region and said that plastic waste has inflicted losses of $1.2 billion in the fisheries, shipping, tourism and insurance sectors.

"This can lead to a huge disaster if we don't act immediately, because unemployment can trigger poverty and social problems, which may eventually lead to radicalism and terrorism," Luhut said.

The minister argued that efforts to reduce negative impacts of marine pollution on the environment can contribute to economic growth and serve as a concrete example of sustainable development.

"I hope you will support the increase in cooperation in our region to address this critical issue, and raise regional awareness about plastic waste," Luhut said, adding that there is also a need to promote the involvement of the private sector, research institutes and grassroots movements.