Indonesia to impose duties on plastic bags

THE Indonesian government will impose duties on plastic bags to reduce waste.

The Indonesian Finance Ministry’s Customs and Excise Directorate General said it would slap a plastic bag duty of Rp200 (US 1.4 cents) per sheet.

“The duty has considered many factors,” Customs and Excise Director General Heru Pambudi told reporters at the House of Representatives building on Tuesday.

“(The duty) could not be too high or too low as we need to balance many factors,” he added. Earlier that day, the ministry held a hearing with House Commission XI overseeing finance on plastic bag duties. At the hearing, Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said that the duty on plastic bags will be set at Rp30,000 per kilogramme, assuming that a kilogramme of plastic bags contains 150 sheets.

Hence, plastic bags will cost Rp450 to Rp500 per sheet after duties.

The imposition of duties on plastic bags is expected to cause inflation of 0.045 per cent.

Heru said the ministry paid attention to industry players, people’s purchasing power, manpower and the environment. He said the duties could not be set too high because it would disrupt industries.

Heru added that the imposition aims to reduce plastic consumption, especially bags made from resin or non-recyclable materials. In addition, the government plans to set lower rates for recyclable plastics.

Indonesia is not the only country to impose duties on plastic bags. Denmark, South Africa, Taiwan, Ireland and Malaysia have imposed duties of Rp40,000 to Rp100,000 per kilogramme of plastic bags. – The Jakarta Post

Indonesian officials check a container loaded with a combination of garbage, plastic waste and hazardous materials in violation of import rules in Batam island. – AFP