Jakarta - The Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, has officially signed an order to ban single-use plastics in Jakarta's shopping centres, supermarkets, and public markets in recognition of Indonesia's rising plastic waste pollution. Andono Warih, Head of the Jakarta Environmental Department, said the Governor Regulation No. 142 Year 2019 (Pergub 142/2019) will be effective by 1 July 2020. The regulation reads as follows:
Managers of Shopping Centres, Supermarkets and Public Markets are Obliged to Utilize Environmentally Friendly Shopping Bags
Concerning the obligation mentioned in section (1), Managers of Shopping Centres, Supermarkets, and Public Markets are prohibited in using Single-Use Plastic Bag
This regulation not only prohibits the use of single-use plastic bags but also imposes the obligation to educate the customers on the environmental impact of using non-recyclable plastics. Such regulation has been implemented in Bali, where the use of plastic straws and Styrofoam are also prohibited (Pergub 97/2018).
The regulation holds accountable producers, vendors as well as the consumers for their awareness towards environmental issues relating to plastic use. Although it is a major step for Indonesia in tackling plastic waste pollution, there has been plenty of scepticism towards the implementation and effectiveness of the regulation. Many refer to flaws of the Bali regulation, having been implemented for over a year, yet seems to be ineffective towards small uncertified vendors.
This criticism extends to the Jakarta regulation’s ability to be implemented in Public Markets around Jakarta that targets low-income consumers, and the lack of government initiative to subsidise plastic substitutes. However. there is no denying that there is more attention towards this issue and that there is great hope for more government action towards Indonesia’s environmental concerns.