TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The planned plastic blag levy should be implemented gradually considering that plastic is the main packaging material for food and beverage.
Chairman of the Executive Board, the Indonesian Consumer Foundation (YLKI) Tulus Abadi said that the government must set the criteria for plastics subject to levy. Plastic packagings or bags with hazardous substance should be the top priority to minimize their use and to lower the environmental risks posed.
“A criteria must be set on what type of plastic to be subjected to levy since an environmentally friendly type of plastic can also be made, it should not be subjected to levy,” he said yesterday in Jakarta.
He also hoped that the imposition of levy for plastic bags or packagings would not hamper people’s purchasing power. The rate should not be as high as that of cigarette products that reaches 57 percent of their retail prices.
Earlier, the government had tried out the imposition of Rp200 charge per plastic bag sheet to consumers. The rate was applied in all mini markets in Jakarta on April to June 2016.
YLKI study shows that 40 percent of consumers in Jakarta are no longer using plastic bags for shopping. They have turned to fabric bags which can be used multiple times. Tulus has lamented the suspension of the program without any follow up through an issuance of other regulation.
“YLKI has also lodged a protest to the Environmental Affairs Ministry, [regarding] the lack of clear reasons [behind the scrapping of the policy] or an update with other regulations,” he said.