"The national plastic recycling industry plays a crucial role in fulfilling demand for raw materials and promoting the competitive edge of the domestic downstream plastic industry," he said in Bekasi district, West Java on Monday.
So far, no other material has been able to replace plastic in food and beverage packaging in Indonesia, he pointed out.
However, the use of plastic has an impact on the environment if it is not handled properly, he said. Hence, the plastic recycling industry, which can encourage a sustainable ecosystem, has a great role to play, he added.
According to data from the Industry Ministry, the national demand for plastic raw material has reached 7.2 million tons per year. However, the domestic industry is only able to meet 2.3 million tons of it in the form of virgin plastic.
Meanwhile, the national plastic recycling industry only contributes 913 thousand tons of the total need of 2 million tons per year and the remaining 1.087 million tons must be imported.
Indonesia needs more plastic recycling industries to create a sustainable ecosystem and reduce its dependence on imported plastic, Kartasasmita said.
The plastic recycling industry also creates jobs for nearly 4 million scavengers, he added.
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