"Cooperatives and waste banks have close relations in the context of plastic waste management and sustainable development, as well as being involved in the establishment and management of waste banks," the ministry's secretary, Arif Rahman Hakim, said on Friday.
During the "Complaints and Receiving Public Aspirations in the Cooperatives and SMEs Fields" discussion, he stated that cooperatives can establish waste banks to improve waste management and create new resources for their members.
Hakim underlined that waste management is a serious challenge that Indonesia is facing given its growing population and changing lifestyles, which has contributed to a continued increase in waste.
"This requires a smart and sustainable solution. This is why a cooperative-based approach is highly relevant," he added.
He said that even though Indonesia already has large landfills and waste processing sites, they are not yet fully effective.
Therefore, the government is continuing to seek various solutions, and one of the solutions that is currently being implemented widely is the establishment of waste banks, he added.
"The circular economic approach has a meaningful impact on the economy, environment, and society," he said.
According to data from the Ministry of National Development Planning, the circular economy could potentially increase Indonesia's GDP by up to Rp638 trillion (around US$40.81 billion) by 2030.
"The environment sector could potentially contribute by reducing the waste volume by up to 18.53 percent and absorbing 4.4 million workers by 2030," he added.
Waste banks are facilities for managing waste based on the principle of reduce, reuse, and recycle (3R) as a means for education, behavior change, and circular economy implementation. They are established and managed by the community, business entities, and regional governments.
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Translator: Kutnadi, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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