Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Environment and Forestry Ministry has underlined the need for optimizing waste banks through the provision of raw materials and called for public participation in waste management.

"The challenge for the waste banks is the need (for) public participation in processing waste to meet recycled raw materials (supplies), which are still not optimal," Head of the Circular Economy Sub-directorate at the Environment and Forestry Ministry Wistinoviani Adnin said during a virtual discussion on Wednesday.

"We urge waste bank managers to conduct the best management to meet the needs of recycled raw materials," she said.

Segregating garbage at source is key to preventing rampant impurities in recycling materials as the mixing of garbage can pose more challenges in later processes, she explained.

She also said that waste banks are also hindered by the long chain of plastic and paper waste marketing, which leads to their low sale value or price.

That is despite the fact that such waste has ample potential to meet the needs of the domestic recycling industry, Adnin said.

She cited data from the ministry from 2021, according to which 19.66 million tons of plastic and paper waste are generated in the country per year.

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Meanwhile, the use of domestic plastic and paper waste for the recycling industry is still capped at just 46 percent, she informed.

The plastic and paper recycling industry in the country itself requires 7.6 million tons of waste per year, she said. The lack of optimal utilization has led to its importing plastic and paper raw materials to meet demand, she said.

One of the issues is the uneven distribution of the recycling industry, she noted. Around 90 percent of recycling plants are concentrated in Java due to high consumption on the island, Adnin said.

Besides, many waste banks have suspended operation, thereby halting their mission as entities supporting change public behavior, reduction of waste, and pushing the economy, she added.

According to the ministry's data, as of February 7, 2022, there were 11,610 waste banks in Indonesia, she said.

"There are thousands of waste banks. However, some are stable and still running, but there are also suspended ones," she informed.

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Translator: Mecca Yumna Ning Prisie
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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