Starting this year, whenever you buy something in stores or supermarket in Indonesia, you will be asked if you need a plastic bag to carry your purchase or not.
Indonesia government launched early this year, a new regulation that erase plastic bags from being given free. The carelessness of Indonesians in handling the plastic wastage has forced Indonesia government to minimize usage of plastic bags.
Before this rule issued, every store provide a free plastic bag for every purchase. Even, if you buy only a small thing like a bottle of mineral water, a piece of chocolate, or any other small merchandises, you can ask for one plastic bag. The more you buy, the more plastic bag provided for you.
Unfortunately, lack of discipline Indonesians often throw it away without thinking the harmful effects of plastic can cause to environment. Rivers, streets, and almost everywhere are never free from garbage, thrash and all other types of unused goods, including plastic bags.
This has raised concern to many people as damages have started to appear in many places.
In order to raise awareness about the danger, the government wants to curb and reduce the circulation of plastic bags. The idea is to forced the usage of re-useable shopping bags. That’s the reason behind the regulation.
Indonesia plastic bag is still too cheap
However, the money to be spent for it is still too cheap. It is only valued Rp. 200.-/piece or less than US Cent 2.-. The amount doesn’t deter Indonesians to keep using it in daily life.
Furthermore, the regulation limits only for formal stores like supermarket, department stores but it doesn’t apply in traditional markets.
Many environmentalists or aware people object on this issue, including me. They think it won’t stop the bad habit of Indonesians. The concern is quite true. It can be seen on daily life Indonesians will give a nod when they are asked if they want a plastic bag or not.
From another perspective, the regulation of paid plastic bags seem to also wake Indonesian up a bit. They start to understand about what danger this item can do to their environment. Some people begin to use more re-useable shopping bags when they go to supermarket or even traditional markets.
(Read also : 8 Reckless Actions Indonesian Motorcyclists Do)
There is a bad and good result at the same time. So, probably this must be seen as the very beginning of a long journey to raise an environmental awareness among Indonesians. A very very long journey.
Anyway, so I hope you don’t mind to pay a bit more for whatever you buy in our stores. At least, it shows your support our efforts to save our environment.