Practical Lifestyle Encourages Plastic Waste

Director General of Waste, Waste and B3 Management at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, said that in 2021 it is estimated that Indonesia’s waste will amount to 68.5 million tons. The composition of national waste shows a tendency to increase the generation of plastic waste from 11 percent in 2010 to 17 percent in 2021. The increase in waste generation is driven by changes in lifestyle and consumption patterns of Indonesian people who want everything practical.

“So we use a lot of single-use plastic,” said Vivien in a webinar themed New Ideas for Plastic Waste Reduction Solutions, Thursday (24/2).

Given the increasing amount of plastic waste, said Vivien, there must be extraordinary policies and efforts to overcome this problem; from upstream to downstream.

One of these policies is to require producers to reduce plastic waste from products and packaging as stated in the Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation No. 75 of 2019 concerning Roadmaps for Reducing Waste by Manufacturers.

“The form of producer responsibility in reducing waste in this LHK Ministerial Regulation is to require producers to limit waste generation. Recycle waste through recall. Then, reuse waste,” said Vivien.

72 Percent of Residents Don’t Care About Garbage

Meanwhile, the Director of Waste Reduction at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Sinta Saptarina Soemiarno, revealed that the attitude of indifference to the environment in Indonesia is still low. At least 72 percent of the people don’t care about waste.

“Population growth is getting higher with changes in Indonesia’s consumptive spending behavior that is increasing. It is feared that if we don’t do militant things, the increase will increase sharply,” he said.

A number of local government cleaners clean garbage from the beach at Kali Adem Port, Jakarta, on June 8, 2021. (Photo: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

A number of local government cleaners clean garbage from the beach at Kali Adem Port, Jakarta, on June 8, 2021. (Photo: Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

Sinta also gave an example of an increase in the generation of plastic waste that occurred in Rangkut District, Surabaya City, East Java, from 7.99 percent in 2017 to 22.38 percent in 2020.

“The increase in plastic waste also occurred at the Benowo TPA from 12.96 percent in 2013 to 22.01 percent in 2020,” he said.

Then, the increase in plastic waste was also caused by the online shopping lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in online business has a direct impact on increasing the amount of plastic waste in households.

“This is due to the increasing use of packaging, wrapping, bubble wrap, and plastic bags during packaging and delivery of goods,” said Sinta.

It’s Not Easy To Apply Rules About Plastic Waste

Based on the research results of the LIPI Oceanographic Research Center (P2O) in 2020 regarding the impact of Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) and Work From Home (WFH) on plastic waste in Greater Jakarta which was carried out in April-May 2020, the fact that online shopping in the form of packages increased by 62 percent . Then, online shopping in the form of fast food delivery services rose 47 percent.

“The frequency of online shopping which used to be only once a month can be 1 to 10 times per month and 96 percent of online shopping packages are wrapped in plastic,” concluded Sinta.

Environmental expert and Professor of the Environmental Engineering Department at the Bandung Institute of Technology, Enri Damanhuri, said that the government’s efforts to reduce plastic waste through a number of regulations did not seem easy.

The reason is, some of the plastic waste that drifts into the sea mostly comes from land because the waste management services by the local government are still low.

“The main reason is that the funds are always not in favor of collecting waste, some of the plastic waste which is packaging waste from fast moving consumer goods is not attractive for recycling,” said Enri. [aa/em]