The government is drafting a regulation to tax plastic bags next year in its effort to reduce plastic waste.
“So the excise is for plastic bags, not for plastic bottles,” Finance Ministry customs and excise director general Heru Pambudi said on Thursday at his office in Tangerang, Banten, as quoted by kompas.com.
He said the regulation, the draft for which was being finalized, incentivized companies to produce environmentally friendly plastic bags.
“With the regulation, we will control the production of plastic bags and guide producers toward producing environmentally friendly plastic bags,” Heru said, adding that the customs directorate general had already discussed the matter with the House of the Representatives.
Heru said the regulation offered a tax incentive for companies that produced environmentally friendly plastic bags, while non-compliant plastic bag producers would pay a higher tax.
“We are even considering waiving the excise for producers of environmentally friendly plastic bags,” Heru said.
The House consultation agreed to set up a committee composed of relevant ministerial representatives to discuss the technical aspects of implementing the new legislation, which would be issued as a government regulation.
A study by the People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA) reveals that at least 1.29 million tons of plastic waste is dumped each year into Indonesia’s rivers, with 13,000 tons of plastic waste per square kilometer polluting the ocean. (bbn)