Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya officiated the new policy simultaneously applied in 22 cities during the commemoration of National Trash-Free Day in the Hotel Indonesia Circle, here, Sunday.
"Pre-paid plastic bag system is now tried in 22 cities, such as Jakarta, Bandung, Balikpapan, Makassar and Surabaya. The system is being administered by provincial and municipality governments," the minister said.
The central government is facilitating and supporting local administrations to reduce plastic trash by applying the pre-paid plastic bag system, she noted.
The ministry has suggested that a shopper should be charged minimum of Rp200 per bag, but many cities will charge much higher to encourage shoppers to bring their own bags from home.
The Jakarta administration, for instance, has decided to charge Rp5,000 per bag in every shopping place, including in mini-markets and traditional markets.
Balikpapan in East Kalimantan Province will charge Rp1,500 per bag and Makassar in South Sulawesi Rp4,500 per bag.
Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil said his city could receive economic benefit worth Rp1 billion per day or Rp360 billion per year from the pre-paid bag policy.
The system will be tried for six months and evaluated in every three months.
If the program is successful, the government will issue a ministerial regulation on this environmentally friendly policy.(*)