"We are programming a regulation at the regional level. It is not impossible for us to introduce a regulation at the municipal level to restrict the use of plastic," Deputy Mayor of Batam City, Amsakar Achmad said here on Tuesday.
The (regional) government is still drafting plans to replace the use of plastics with other materials during official and community events.
"We want a comfortable one. Comfortable bags are those made of pandanus leaves, for example," he noted.
However, the policy must be implemented in stages, considering that people are used to using plastic for various daily activities.
He remarked that the use of plastic must be reduced, because plastic waste is difficult to decompose and can damage the environment.
Moreover, Batam is an archipelago city. Some 67 percent of its territory consists of sea. If plastic pollutants reach the sea, it will endanger the various biota that live in it.
Previously, on Monday (Dec 10), Mayor Muhammad Rudi also instructed his staff to reduce the use of disposable bottled water and plastic straws to reduce waste that is difficult to decompose.
"I remind everyone to reduce the use of plastic," the mayor remarked.
The mayor added that he would compile the Mayor`s Regulations for the policy, so that it could be more formal and would adhere throughout all the ranks. If it is implemented, then all programs organized by the regional secretariat and regional equipment organizations will not make use of water in disposable bottles and glasses.
Reporting by Jannatun Naim, Andi Abdussalam