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Indonesia plans to ban single-use plastic by end of 2029

Indonesia will start imposing a ban on single-use plastic products by the end of 2029, the country’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said on Monday (Jun 5). By that time, manufacturers are also mandated to reduce their use of plastic packaging by 30 per cent.   

A file photo of plastic waste seen along a river in Indonesia

Mdm Siti Nurbaya said the ban will include single-use plastic shopping bags, plastic straws and plastic cutlery while the use of styrofoams for food packaging will also be prohibited. 

“This is a way to deal with packaging wastes that are difficult to collect, have no economical value, hard to recycle and have the potential to pollute (the environment),” the minister was quoted as saying by Indonesian news agency Antara. 

Various studies and reports have named Indonesia as one of the top plastic waste producing countries in the world. 

Last year, the country of 270 million people produced 12.6 million tonnes of plastic waste, according to data from Indonesia’s environment ministry.  

Meanwhile, a study from environmental group Zero Waste Indonesia Alliance suggests that only nine per cent of plastic waste in Indonesia are recycled while the rest end up in landfills or polluting the rivers and oceans. 

Mdm Siti Nurbaya said provinces in Indonesia will be instructed to produce a plastic waste reduction road map in support of the ban taking place in 2029. 

In July 2019, the popular resort island of Bali became the first Indonesian province to impose a ban on the use of single-use plastic bags, straws and styrofoams.  

Meanwhile, the country’s capital Jakarta issued a ban on the use of single-use plastic bags in July 2020 but still allows the use of plastic straws, cutlery and styrofoams. 

Mdm Siti Nurbaya, the environment and forestry minister, said the private sector should also play its part to reduce plastic waste. She mandated all manufacturers to reduce their packaging waste by 30 per cent by the year 2029 in a bid to tackle the upstream life cycle of single-use plastic products. 

Indonesia is not the only country hoping to end its reliance on single-use plastic products. 

In 2018, Malaysia set an ambitious road map to eliminate single-use plastics by 2030. 

To support this goal, Malaysian minister for natural resources, environment and climate change Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said last month that the country aims to ban the use of plastic bags for retail purposes across all business sectors nationwide by 2025. 

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