Indonesia’s capital city bans single-use plastic bags

Jakarta began a new chapter in reducing plastic waste on July 1, when a gubernatorial regulation banning single-use plastic bags in traditional markets, modern supermarkets and minimarkets across the capital city of Indonesia took effect.

03, Jul. 2020

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JAKARTA, VNA – Jakarta began a new chapter in reducing plastic waste on July 1, when a gubernatorial regulation banning single-use plastic bags in traditional markets, modern supermarkets and minimarkets across the capital city of Indonesia took effect.

A number of regions across the country have already imposed a similar ban – South Kalimantan’s Banjarmasin, East Kalimantan’s Balikpapan, Bali’s Denpasar and Jakarta’s satellite city of Bogor in West Java.

Head of the Jakarta Environment Agency Andono Warih said in general, business players support this policy, adding that it actually reduces their cost of providing single-use plastic bags.

According to Andono the policy is instrumental in reducing plastic waste disposed of at Bantar Gebang landfill in Bekasi, West Java – the end point in Jakarta’s waste disposal process, which may only have one year left before reaching its maximum capacity.

He said he hopes this will increase awareness and make people use single-use plastic bags more wisely and carry more environmentally friendly reusable bags.

The Jakarta administration has disseminated information on the policy to the management of 85 shopping centres, more than 2,000 convenience stores and 158 traditional markets across the city, as well as the public.

The regulation serves as a legal basis for the use of eco-friendly bags in stores and markets. It carries punishments for shopping centres found violating the ban on single-use plastic bags, which range from written warnings and fines to permit suspension and termination.

However, it allows sellers to provide single-use plastic bags for non-packaged foodstuffs if there is no eco-friendly packaging available. It also excludes single-use plastic bags for online shopping and food deliveries.

According to the Jakarta Environment Agency’s data, an average of 7,702 tonnes of the city's trash was disposed of at the Bantar Gebang landfill every day last year, 34 percent of which was plastic waste.

With decreasing economic activity during the COVID-19 outbreak, Jakarta has seen a constant reduction of waste disposed of at Bantar Gebang, with the agency reporting 189,979 tonnes of waste sent to the landfill in May, 37.8 percent lower than 305,339 tonnes in January. - VNA