Industry Minister Urges Act against Plastic Waste Smugglers

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaIndustry Minister Airlangga Hartarto expressed his concerns on rampant cases of plastic waste smuggling to several countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia. He said that the trash, which were smuggled in paper scrap imports for industry needs, was a crime that must be severely punished based on the prevailing law.

    "A smuggling is indeed a violation that must be [punished]," said Airlangga after a meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission VI at the Parliamentary Complex on Monday, June 17, 2019.

    Previously, Finance Ministry's Directorate General of Customs and Excise had seized waste plastic import and then returned it to the United States.

    Airlangga admitted that the domestic industry remains highly dependent on raw materials import, such as scrap paper following the government's limitation on the use of wood for paper raw material.

    "Recycling gains praise from the industry because almost all consumer goods companies prioritize paper recycling," Airlangga remarked.

    Meanwhile, Director General of non-lethal waste management Rosa Vivien Ratnawati said that the plastic waste smuggling case violated a number of regulations, and the smuggler could be charged with three to twelve years of imprisonment and a fine in the range of IDR 100 million to IDR 5 billion.

    EKO WAHYUDI l CAESAR AKBAR