Shoppers in Jakarta will soon be unable to carry their groceries in single-use plastic bags as the Jakarta administration has issued a long awaited gubernatorial regulation banning such plastic bags from traditional and modern markets starting June this year.
The regulation – Gubernatorial Regulation No. 142/2019 on eco-friendly bag usage – was signed by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan on Dec. 27.
“According to the regulation’s Article 30, the ban will take effect six months after the regulation was enacted on Dec. 31,” Jakarta Legal Bureau head Yayan Yuhana told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
The regulation, a copy of which was obtained by The Jakarta Post, imposes a ban on single-use plastic bags in modern department stores, supermarkets as well as traditional markets. Aside from the ban, the regulation will also serve as a legal basis for the usage of eco-friendly bags in stores and markets.
According to the regulation, eco-friendly bags can be made from leaf, paper, cloth, polyester and its derivatives as well as recycled materials. It also should have adequate thickness, be recyclable and designed to be used several times before being disposed of.
The administration defined single-use plastic bags as transparent bags made from various kinds of plastics, including polyethylene and thermoplastics.
The regulation also carries punishments for shopping centers found violating the ban, which range from written warning and fines to permit suspension and termination.
Despite the ban, a number of articles in the regulation still allow shops to provide single-use plastic to “accommodate foodstuffs that have not been wrapped by any packaging.” Such exception, however, will not applicable if alternate eco-friendly packaging is already available.
The plan to issue a regulation banning single-use plastic bags in the city has been in the pipeline since early last year. However, it was put on hold as Governor Anies wanted to include the provision on substitute materials to replace plastic bags in the regulation draft.
Jakarta will be added to the long list of regions across the country that have imposed a ban on single-use plastic bags. The list includes South Kalimantan’s Banjarmasin (the first city to do so), East Kalimantan’s Balikpapan and Bali’s Denpasar.