The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (LHK) continues to take firm steps related to imported plastic waste entering through the gap of imported raw materials for paper and plastic scrap. Waste smuggling from abroad has been going on since decades ago and one of them is used by small industry players as a substitute for production fuel because the price is cheaper.
To prevent this smuggling of garbage from happening again, the Ministry of Environment and Forests has sent 883 containers of plastic waste back to the country of origin smuggled by perpetrators to Indonesia.
“Indonesia does not import waste. We ensure that the guard is tight. The problem so far is that garbage has been infiltrated through the import of raw materials of paper and plastic scrap,” said the Director of Waste Management, Novrizal Tahar, Monday (11/25/2019).
“Of the 2,194 containers that entered, we have sent back (re-export) 883 containers. We have confirmed to the sending country, that Indonesia is not a garbage bin,” he continued.
The use of imported plastic waste by MSMEs is a serious concern for the government. On the orders of LHK Minister Siti Nurbaya, at the end of last week, said Novrizal, his party led a special team to respond to alleged dioxin contamination as a result of the use of imported plastic waste for fuel making tofu and eggs.
Participating in this team were researchers from BPPT, the ITS Chemical Technical Faculty, Airlangga University, and the Sidoarjo Regency Environmental Agency. They visited Tropodo Village, Sidoarjo Regency, East Java.
From the field review, the community business units are still using fuel from plastic waste. However, the amount of plastic waste piles for fuel has been reduced compared to conditions in July 2019. It is suspected that the waste supply has been reduced due to the re-export measures, changes in regulations, and increasingly stringent supervision by the Government.
While the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar stated, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is very concerned about waste and waste that can poison humans, especially on the dimensions or prospects it relates to the quality of Indonesian people from generation to generation, which must be maintained.
“The matter of waste mixed with imports of raw materials for the paper and plastic industries is not only a matter of violating the Law (UU) but a matter of national generation. It means that what the President thinks is even nobler than just a matter of violating the law, “said Siti Nurbaya.
Therefore, continued Siti, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry acted decisively for imported waste like this, it had to be re-exported and tightened because it clearly violated Law Number 18 the Year 2008 and Law 32 the Year 2009. Obviously not allowed and criminal sanctions.
“I assigned the PSLB3 Team back to the field after May, June, then they went to check the field. This time I asked for help to be completed and asked for help from experts to investigate the waste problem both in Bangun Mojokerto and Tropodo Sidoardjo villages, including those “The dioxin issues and issues have disturbed the community. We will see the truth from the results of the study,” said Siti.
But continued Siti, her party knew exactly this was not a simple thing because this problem had been going on for decades. There are social problems there. Also maybe a matter of business morals and also other things.
On the practical side, he said, in the field, there were also practices for use with incinerators whose technology was already environmentally friendly. We will learn this, for example, if there must be support from the government, for small and medium industries and households, either through KLHK work or the Ministry of Industry, or UMKM Ministry of Cooperatives, or even the Regional Government.
“The important thing is a good industry. We will also examine the aspects of environmentally friendly combustion. The problem of garbage piled up everywhere must be solved together,” he said.
“How do we manage it with the principle of reducing reuse and recycling. The government and local government work for it and I know that community support and activist organizations are also quite large. This is our strength in resolving the matter of waste,” he added.
While the Director of Waste Management, Novrizal Tahar continued, the Ministry of LHK also immediately conducted research involving experts, in order to respond to public unrest, especially related to the issue of dioxin in eggs and tofu produced using plastic waste fuel.
“The LHK Ministry will soon study more intensively the social and technical aspects related to this problem, as well as formulate a solution, involving experts. Later the results of the study will become a reference for taking further strategic steps,” Novrizal said.