AZWI: Report Launch & Movie Screening “Plastic Wastes Trade”

Jakarta – Indonesian Zero Waste Alliance (AZWI) launched an investigation report on waste trade in Indonesia. Based on the report, 43 countries import their wastes to East Java, including USA, Italy, England, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, and Canada.


“Based on the investigation conducted by Ecoton, in 2018 imported used paper’s volume is 739 thousand tons or has increased compared to 546 thousand of used paper’s volume in 2017 for paper industries’ raw materials in East Java. From those imported used papers, several plastic wastes were smuggled inside the paper wastes. “We found approximately 10-30% plastic wastes from investigation in five companies,” said Executive Director of Ecological Observation and Wetlands Conservation (Ecoton) Prigi Arisandi when met in Report Launch & Movie Screening Event “Plastic Waste Trade”) at National Executive WALHI Office, on Tuesday (06/25/2019).


Data from AZWI shows that Indonesia imports around 124.000 tons plastic wastes (considered as remains, parings, and plastic scraps) in 2013. This amount increased twice as much in 2018 which is around 283.000 tons. This volume reached its highest import peak for the last 10 years based on data from Statistic Management Agency and UN Comtrade. Statistic Management Agency data shows a 141% increase in import however a 48% decrease in export (approximately 98.500 tons). This number indicates that around 184.700 tons of plastic waste are still in Indonesia, its faith is not known whether it was recycled as pellets or new product outside 9 tons of domestic plastic waste production.


Meanwhile, Yuyun Ismawati from Bali Fokus spoke that President Joko Widodo needs to urgently stop plastic import since 2015 because researchers state Indonesia ranked second as ocean polluter country after China. “Since China established a stricter plastic waste import known as “National Sword”, waste trade, especially plastic waste trade in the world is shaken. In 1988-206, China absorbed around 45,1% plastic waste in the world and Indonesia might be the next first ocean polluter country in the world.”


“Even though ASEAN Countries from the start have recycled plastic waste (approximately 3% of global remains, parings, and plastic scraps) and resend back 5% of its exports to the global market, a stricter import regulation in China might weighed down recycling and management waste duty of other countries, “ explained Yuyun.


In the same meeting, Head Division of Pollution Control of ICEL Margaretha Quina explained that waste imports (garbage and waste both) are prohibited in our laws. However, there’s a complex definition in assessing if a commodity is qualified as garbage or waste and waste is usually exempted from import prohibition or not. This gives opportunities to methods such as the one in East Java.


Based on the policy paper by ICEL on waste management, ICEL offers policy options: optimize existing legal provisions for monitoring and legal enforcement of non-hazardous waste import approval, optimize existing legal provisions for non-hazardous waste permit, improve the definition of “garbage,” “waste,” “hazardous waste,” to simplify verification, conform Ministry of Trade Regulation No. 31 Year 2016 with Basel Convention amendment, targeted criminal sanctions for hazardous waste import crime and waste import violation.


In line with what Margaretha Quina said, Executive Director of National WALHI Nurhidayati demanded government to create a stricter regulation of waste management, including waste import and improve waste management so that it can be managed economically. National and local government has to enact a regulation to stop single plastic use production. “This is to reduce plastic waste production. Legal actions have to be taken for waste import companies that violate the laws. Revoke its import permit. This shows clear rejection and assertiveness from Indonesia Government to become an illegal and dirty waste receiver.” said Yaya. (Dona)




Indonesian Zero Waste Alliance (AZWI) is an organization that works to push zero waste implementation through programs and initiatives which support waste management hierarchy, material life cycle, and a sustained production and consumption. AZWI consists of Balifokus/Nexus3 Fondation, YPBB Organization, Indonesian Plastic Bag Diet Movement, National WALHI, Indonesian Greenpeace, ICEL, Ecoton Foundation, Zero Waste Community, and PPLH Bali.