Indonesia tightens imports of plastic waste

VNA
Indonesia plans tighter rules to stem a surge in imports of plastic waste.

Customs officers have uncovered imports of scrap mixed with other waste such as rubber and diapers. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Customs officers have uncovered imports of scrap mixed with other waste such as rubber and diapers. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Director General of Foreign Trade at the Trade Ministry Oke Nuwan told press on July 26 that Indonesia had notified 15 countries, home to key exporters, of the new checks.

According to the official, Indonesia will require registry of trash exporters and increase tougher border checks. 

He pledged stricter punishment for any violation of the new rules.

Indonesia has rules aimed at imported plastic scrap as recommended from the environment ministry and proof of surveyor checks. However, customs officers have uncovered imports of scrap mixed with other waste such as rubber and diapers, and have ordered them shipped back to their home countries.

Data from the statistics agency showed imports of plastic waste rose 141 percent last year to 283,000 tonnes, after China decided not to import the waste to clean up its environment from January 2018.

Indonesia is struggling to deal with its own waste, which often goes into landfills or seeps into rivers. The country is the second biggest contributor of plastic pollutants in the ocean, a 2015 study in the journal Science showed. To cut pollution, Indonesia also sought a levy on plastic bags but the parliament delayed the move, following industry complains.

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