ETS, JAKARTA – The Government of Bekasi City, West Java, began socializing and advocating the use of plant-based packaging bags as plastic substitutes starting in January 2019.
“We are not regulating not to use plastic packaging bags, but we encourage using biodegradable plastic which can be broken down,” said Secretary of the City of Bekasi Environmental Office, Kustantinah, in Bekasi, Thursday (12/13/2018).
According to him, the Bekasi City Government will enact efforts to reduce plastic waste in Bekasi City starting January 2019 on the basis of the Regulations of Bekasi Mayor Number 61 Year 2018.
“We already have a regulation to limit the use of plastic with the target of business people, retail stores and shopping centers in Bekasi City. “Beginning in January 2019,” said Kustantinah.
Until now, it is still intensifying the socialization of the use of plant-based plastic bags until the end of December 2018.
“In the future we will monitor the use of the plastic,” he said.
In addition, this socialization will be discussed regarding the agreement of the Bekasi City Government with the private sector about the amount of plastic bag reduction.
That’s because the price of vegetable-based or bio-degredable plastics is relatively more expensive than the prices of vinyl-based plastics that are often found.
“Many vegetable plastics are made from cassava base material so they can decompose but have a weakness in terms of strength and are limited to storing the weight of the goods,” he said.
Kustantinah revealed that the use of plastic bags has been in the city of Bekasi since 2016, but now because the Environmental Office of Bekasi City is still in the form of an Environmental Agency, the implementation is not optimal.
“After changing, there are things that need to be updated regarding the regulation because there are institutional changes,” he concluded.
The Bekasi City Government has not yet implemented this regulation because it still needs socialization to business people, retail organizations and malls in Bekasi City.