Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has ordered strict monitoring of waste imports as their poor management has the potential to damage the environment. "On many occasions, ASEAN Summit and other international conferences, there were reports of waste import from developed to developing countries, not only to Indonesia," Jokowi said at the opening of a closed-door meeting on waste imports at the Bogor Palace, here Tuesday.

Despite the demand from the local industry for paper scrap and plastic waste, Jokowi said, many items that are imported as garbage have the potential to damage the environment, especially those that cannot be recycled.

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It would be more harmful to the public if there is contamination from hazardous waste," the President noted.

While controlling waste imports and improving its management, one also has to ensure proper flow in the domestic supply of waste for industries that need them as raw material, according to the President.

It is important to enforce the law and ensure strict monitoring of waste imports, he said.

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"I think the coordination among related ministers is necessary to avoid a different perception to handle waste imports," Jokowi said.

In 2018, data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) showed an increase of 141 percent (283,152 tons) in imports of plastic waste to Indonesia.

This figure was the highest for imports of plastic waste in the past 10 years. In 2013, the import of plastic waste was some 124,433 tons. However, the increase in imports is not balanced with export figures, as export figures declined 48 percent (98,450 tons) in 2018. (INE)

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Translator: Bayu Prasetyo, Sri Haryati
Editor: Azizah Fitriyanti
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