In­done­sia mulls levy on for­eign tourists in Bali for plas­tic cleanup

The Myanmar Times - - Asean Focus -

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

Photo: EPA

Plas­tic de­bris lit­ters Kuta beach in Bali, In­done­sia, in 2017.

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