Jakarta, IO – Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia and the world’s fourth-most populous country with over 275 million people, is responsible as one of the world’s largest contributors to plastic waste leakage into the oceans, according to a report.
The World Bank said in a 2021 report that Indonesia generates about 7.8 million tons of plastic waste annually. From that figure, 4.9 million tons of plastic waste is mismanaged, for example, uncollected, disposed of in open dumpsites or leaked from improperly managed landfills.
“Uncollected waste contributes more to plastic waste discharges than leakages from final disposal sites, and very little plastic is recycled,” the World Bank’s report titled “Plastic Waste Discharges: From Rivers and Coastlines in Indonesia” said.
Some key findings from the report also showed from “an estimated 346.5 kiloton per year (estimated range of 201.1 – 552.3 kiloton per year) of plastic waste is discharged into the marine environment from land-based sources in Indonesia, two thirds of which come from Java and Sumatra.”
Furthermore, the report also said about 83 percent of the plastic waste that are discharged into Indonesia’s marine environment come from land-based sources and are carried through the country’s intricate river systems. The remaining 17 percent are derived from discarded wastes from coastal areas.
It was not the waste from the urban area that contributed the most to mismanaged plastic waste. According to the report, two thirds of mismanaged plastic waste came from rural areas due to very limited waste collection rates. Sadly, direct disposal in water is the main pathway of plastic waste reaching rivers, which is often caused by the populations not having access to waste collection services.
Indonesia’s waste reduction roadmap regulation
As part of an effort to speed up sustainable development, plastic waste reduction, The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has issued Ministerial Regulation No. 75/2019 regarding the Roadmap to Waste Reduction by Producers.
This ministerial regulation offers the roadmap framework and helps make the agenda of waste reduction to become one of Indonesia’s national priorities. Indonesia’s classic waste management problems are usually the under-funded issues due to the challenging economics of high capital and operational expenditures as well as weak revenue streams.