JAKARTADAILY.ID - Indonesia is facing a great threat of marine littering, due to the rapid increase of single-use packaging and ineffective waste management systems that had remained unchecked over the years.
According to data from the Ministry of Environment, Indonesia, which has the world’s largest island nation, generates around 42 million tons of municipal waste and 7.8 million tons of Plastic Waste. About 4.9 million tons of waste are continually mismanaged; going uncollected, disposed of improperly, or leaked from landfills.
Better management of plastic litter on land to reduce the amount of plastic litter entering the oceans has been considered one of the solutions to address the issue of what to do with the overwhelming amounts of Plastic Waste.
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The government of Indonesia has issued several regulations to deal with the marine litter problem. This includes the release of Presidential Regulation no. 81/2018 on the Handling of Marine Debris and the National Plan of Action of Marine Debris, which aims to reduce 70 percent of marine plastic litter by 2025.
However, many reports have been consistently showing that marine debris problems in Indonesia are unlikely to be solved in near time.
One way to deal with the challenge has been echoed repeatedly by the regulators, as well as the nation’s related stakeholders is to push a transition to a circular economy, in which consumers and producers are given incentives to reuse products, rather than scrapping them that leads to extracting new resources.
However, implementing the concept is challenging in developing countries like Indonesia, especially due to high investment for innovations as well as improving regulatory aspects.
Public funds are needed as a catalyst
"circular economy has natural characteristics that are challenging to finance mainly because it is a new sector and requires a high amount of investment for innovation as well as systems and technological change,” said Adelia Surya Pratiwi, Economist at the Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance Indonesia, who expressed her views personally to JakartaDaily.id.
"Although it has huge potential as it is an important vehicle to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the green economy which are already both international and national commitments, it remains a challenge for emerging economies like Indonesia.
According to Adelia, as it is part of the nation’s commitment, "it would be normal to assume” that the catalytic financing for SDGs and green economy, in general, would come from the Government.
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However, emerging economies, she said, normally have a problem with this as they have limited public funds, especially in relevance to today’s context.