TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Provincial-run market operator PD Pasar Java strived to campaign the ban on using a plastic bag in all markets managed by the government. The reason is that plastic waste is difficult to decompose and its usage gradually increases.
PD Pasar Jaya director Arief Nasrudin said 153 traditional markets daily produced 600 tons of waste. “As many as 40 percents or 240 tons of the trash is plastic,” said Arief during a discussion and dissemination event regarding the prohibition of plastic bag usage in Kramatjati Market, East Jakarta, Tuesday, December 18.
Meanwhile, the total waste in Jakarta reached 7,200 tons per day. According to Arief, this number of plastic garbage is really alarming as it would harm the environment. “Plastic can be recycled for 100 years. If it is left unchecked, it can bring a negative impact on our environment,” he added.
Arief admitted that traditional market is far behind modern markets operated by private parties in campaigning the movement to lessen the use of plastic bag. Because he reasoned, it was not easy to change the habit of merchants and shoppers in the traditional market who already depended on using plastic bags.
Arief expected that with regular dissemination event, the use of plastic bag would drop. “There has to be a sanction so that traders and buyers are urged to change, but we hope, constant dissemination will raise people awareness,” he noted.
Jakarta Environmental Agency head Isnawa Aji, meanwhile, said the amount of plastic waste in the capital city is quite high. Out of 2.5 million trashes produced by Jakartans per year, a total of 357,000 tons are plastics. Not to mention the consumption rate of Jakartan on plastic waste that reached 300 million pieces per year.
Therefore, Jakarta administration is currently drafting a gubernatorial regulation concerning the ban on using a plastic bag. The bill will be tested for six months before it is officially valid. “We hope this policy will be already applied next year.”