Indonesia mulls levy on foreign tourists in Bali for plastic cleanup
INDONESIA on Friday decided to move forward with a plan to impose a US$10 (K15,800) levy on every foreign tourist who arrives on the resort island of Bali from next year to fund a plastic waste clean-up effort.
“We will make a policy to deal with plastic waste, in which 10 areas in the country will get involved,” Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan told a press conference in Jakarta, adding that Bali will be the pilot project.
Under the policy, he said, foreign tourists will be required to pay $10 per person per stay, while local tourists must pay 10,000 rupiah (K1100) per person per stay.
“It will be charged in their hotel bills and the fund will be managed by the local authorities to clean up plastic waste,” he said.
A meeting took place at Pandjaitan’s office Friday afternoon during which Bali Gov. I Wayan Koster agreed with the idea. A draft regulation is expected to arrive on the minister’s desk by this week, a source close to the meeting told Kyodo News.
If targeted tourist arrivals are reached next year, the source quoted Pandjaitan as saying, Bali could get about $77 million to fund plastic waste management.
Pandjaitan expressed optimism that “within two years, there will be a drastic change in the country in dealing with the waste.”
Plastic waste polluting the ocean has become a major concern for the country, which has been named the second-biggest marine plastic debris polluter in the world after China. Indonesia has pledged to slash its marine plastic waste by 70 percent by 2025.
Jenna Jambeck, a researcher at the University of Georgia in the United States who studies plastic marine waste, said in research published in the journal Science in 2015 that Indonesia produces 3.2 million tonnes of mismanaged plastic debris every year, of which 1.29 million tonnes ends up in the ocean. – Kyodo
Plastic debris litters Kuta beach in Bali, Indonesia, in 2017.