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Due to COVID-19, the number of single-use plastic waste has increased drastically. Last year, Jakarta’s governor Anies Baswedan, signed a regulation to stop marketplaces and shops from using disposable plastic bags effective from the 1st of July 2020. In regard to this issue, the Directorate of Waste Management - Directorate General of PSLB3 KLHK, has a few statements about the regulation which will allow a larger audience to understand its implementation and effects.
Lucas van Oort 
Indonesia Plastic Waste Management is Improving
Single use plastic has been a major issue in this country, but the management and usage fluctuations depend on each city’s regulation, culture, and more importantly its population. However, KLHK claims there has been progress in waste management if compared to the last 10 years.
The government sees a decreasing number of disposable plastic waste in big cities such as Jakarta. This is due to Law No. 18/2008 on Waste Management that manages to be carried out, under the stipulation of Presidential Regulation Number 97/2017 regarding Waste Management Policy and Strategy.
The law aims to reduce the city’s waste by up to 30% and manage up to 70% of waste by the end of 2025, for now KLHK informs that we are making food progress and constantly focusing on managing the waste all around Indonesia.
Reflecting at Bali’s 2019 Plastic Ban Management
As mentioned, the data in plastic waste usage and management differ from each city, but Bali has proven a fantastic reduction of plastic usage down to 80% since the regulation's implementation. This fact proves that plastic waste is not an impossible issue to defeat, but while it is a major improvement, Bali still has a long way to go to reach 100%.
The number plateaus at 80% because not all plastic users and distributors easily concede in banishing the toxic material. The regulation was a success because big shopping centres find it relatively easier to find other sources of non-plastic grocery bags. But that is not the case with micro and smaller vendors & markets.
Jakarta consists of various market agents, not to mention a completely different culture from Bali. The newly implemented law could take up to several years to follow what Bali has achieved, but our government has a positive outlook for the overall progress Jakarta will make.
Another issue that Jakarta faces is some opposition from people who have been gaining profits from plastic use. The disposable material is an advantage for private recycling companies, making money from unwanted waste. Fortunately, the argument was rejected by the Jakarta’s Supreme Court.
COVID-19 Doesn’t Hold Back Plastic Ban Progress
In this pandemic situation, certain matters need to be held back in order to prioritize citizens’ health and wellbeing, but the newly signed regulation is still implemented according to its original plan.
The government continues to actively implement and monitor the ban until it reaches its target. They assured everything will be done under the COVID-19 protocols, making sure the pandemic does not hinder any of the process.
They wished for both the marketplace and the local citizens to work closely and attentively to achieve the target together. Ideally, the government will authorize and continue the efforts of waste management, while entrepreneurs, markets, and vendors, (small or big) will adopt the new policy, and of course citizens will cooperate in adjusting consumption and lifestyle habits.
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