Jakarta to Ban Single-use Plastic Bags Starting July 2020

DKI Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan issued a governor regulation regarding the prohibition of disposable plastic bags usage in malls, supermarkets, and traditional markets starting in July, 2020.
DKI Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan issued a governor regulation regarding the prohibition of disposable plastic bags usage in malls, supermarkets, and traditional markets.

Anies stated that this is a form of the Provincial Government's step to raise public's awareness about the dangers of plastic waste to the environment. He added that the regulation was signed not merely as a form of response to anticipate the Jakarta flooding.

"No, not anticipation. That's part of us to realize the extraordinary environmental changes, and one of the contributors is plastic," he said at the PMK Coordinating Ministry, Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat, Gambir, Central Jakarta, Tuesday ( 1/7/2020). 

Disposable plastic bags ("kresek") commonly used in Indonesia. Source: NusaDesk

 Indonesia's President, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said that one of the factors which caused the flooding in Jakarta and its surroundings was littering. However, Anies Baswedan has different opinion. 

"Maybe we should check again (whether the floods in Jakarta are caused by garbage), what are the conditions per region where there are flooding," Anies said at the flood site Kampung Pulo, East Jakarta, Thursday (01/01/2020). 

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He stated that the extreme flooding happened due to raining, citing Meteorological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) data that the flooded points are symmetrical to forecast points. "Presumably, as far as I know there is not much garbage , "he added. 

Flood has hit DKI Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, and a number of other areas in Java since January 1, 2020 after the New Year eve. The floods occur due to high rainfall that hit Jakarta and its surroundings since 31 December 2019 afternoon. 

As of today, 66 people have been confirmed dead due to due to landslides, hypothermia, drowning and electric shock as a result of the flooding.

The Regulation

 The decision to ban disposable plastic bag is stated in the Governor Regulation (Pergub) 142/2019 concerning the Obligation to Use Environmentally Friendly Shopping Bags at Shopping Centers, Supermarkets, and Traditional Markets.

Reported by CNBC Indonesia in January 7 2020, the regulation comes into force 6 months from the date of promulgation or 1st of July 2020. Head of the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government Legal Bureau, Yayan Yuhana, has confirmed that this regulation has been issued.

This regulation still allows malls, supermarkets, and traditional market to provide disposable plastic packaging in order to accommodate food that has not been wrapped in anything. The exception is made in order to maintain sanitation of foodstuffs that have not been wrapped by any packaging. If there is a substitute material, then the use of disposable plastic packaging bags will be stopped completely.
Governor Regulation 142 Article 5: 
  1. Managers of Shopping Centers, Supermarkets and People's Markets must use Environmentally Friendly Shopping Bags  
  2. Regarding the obligations referred to in paragraph (1), Managers of Shopping Centers, Supermarkets, and People's Markets are prohibited from using Disposable Plastic Shopping Bags. 
The manager of the Shopping Centers, Supermarkets and People's Markets will be expected to enfoce the regulation. If the plastic bag is still provided, the manager can be sanctioned in the form of a warning to a fine. However, traders in malls or markets are only given a reprimand if they still use disposable plastic bags.

The regulation received negative sentiments from traders in traditonal markets in Jakarta citing that they are not ready to provide environmentally friendly shopping bags. The complete regulation in Indonesian can be read here.
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