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QC council approves ban on single-use plastics in hotels, restaurants

QC council approves ban on single-use plastics in hotels, restaurants

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Sunday said that single-use plastics and disposable materials will soon be banned in the city’s hotels and restaurants with the approval of City Ordinance No. 2876, which prohibits the distribution and/or use of single-use plastics/disposable materials, including cutlery for dine-in purposes in these establishments.

“The use of throw-away plates, spoons, forks, cups and other plastic and paper disposables for dining purposes will soon be banned in hotels and restaurants in Quezon City,’’ Joy Belmonte said.

In a joint press conference with environmental group EcoWasteCoalition, Belmonte said the measure was long overdue as she cited principal author and Councilor Dorothy Delarmente and the other members of the city council for its approval.

“The local government of Quezon City is taking this action to prevent and reduce the generation of waste materials that are hardly recovered and recycled, and to promote sustainable practices, especially in the city’s thriving hotel and restaurant industry,” she added.

With the looming single-use plastics ban, Belmonte expressed high hopes of a significant drop in the volume of residual and plastic waste in the city once the Implementing Rules and Regulations of this ordinance are duly promulgated.

“This will be beneficial for the environment and the people as these avoidable wastes are known to add to the city’s huge waste production and to littering and flooding problems,” Belmonte pointed out.

For her part, Delarmente emphasized “the enactment of this measure and its subsequent enforcement is essential amid the clamor against throw-away materials, both plastic and paper-based, which go straight to the bin after being used for just a few minutes.”

“In this ordinance, paper alternatives for plastic cups, plates and straws are not considered an option since these are not recyclable, but disposable,” clarified Delarmente, who chairs the City Council’s Committee on Parks and Environment.

Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition, commended the pollution prevention ordinance against plastic and paper disposables, calling it a step in the right direction.

“This action from the ground should encourage the speedy approval of a robust national legislation phasing out single-use plastics and other disposables to advance the consumption and production agenda in the country,” Lucero pointed out.

Sonia Mendoza, chairman of the Mother Earth Foundation, also welcomed the passage of the measure saying other local government units should take their cue from Quezon City and enact similar measures “that will address the proliferation of throw-away packaging such as single-use plastics, which constitute a main obstacle in community efforts to reach the Zero Waste goal.”

Among the single-use and disposable materials not allowed for dine-in customers in the city’s hotels and restaurants are plastic spoons, forks and knives; plastic/paper cups, plates, straws, stirrers; and styrofoam.

Delarmente said hotels are further prohibited from distributing bar and liquid soaps, shampoos and conditioners, shower gels, and other items used for hygienic purposes in sachets and single-use containers.

The following penalties will be imposed on non-compliant hotels and restaurants: 1) a fine of P1,000 for the first offense; 2) a fine of P3,000 for the second offense, revocation of Environmental Clearance and issuance of a Cease and Desist Order; and 3) a fine of P5,000, revocation of Business Permit and issuance of a Closure Order.

The Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) and the Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) are mandated to ensure compliance of hotels and restaurants to the provisions of the Ordinance, with the Environmental Inspectors of the EPWMD tasked to issue Environmental Violation Receipts (EVRs) to violators.

Based on Quezon City’s Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS) conducted in 2013, 0.81 percent of the 9.64 percent of “recyclable plastic waste” generated by the city is comprised of single-use cutlery, including plastic cups, spoons and forks, which is equivalent to 2.6 tons per day or approximately one (1) truck load of a mini-dump truck.

Originally posted in Manila Bulletin.

 

Students Succeed in Pushing Florida College to go Plastic-Free

Students Succeed in Pushing Florida College to go Plastic-Free

Young people are integral in catalyzing positive change in grassroots movements. In the effort to push for a #BreakFreeFromPlastic, college students are making big moves – and winning! Hear from one of the student organizers who recently succeeded in pushing Eckerd College in Florida to ditch single-use plastics, and learn how you can follow their lead. (Hint: brand audits help!)

In September 2018, the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) together with Student PIRGs released a detailed #BreakFreeFromPlastic Campus Pledge and accompanying toolkit to support colleges and universities in transitioning toward a long-term elimination of all unnecessary single-use plastics. In just over one year, student organizers successfully pushed two U.S. campuses to sign the pledge to go plastic-free. In July 2019, College of the Atlantic in Maine became the first U.S. college to sign the pledge, committing to eliminate all single-use plastics from their campus by 2025. They were soon followed by Eckerd College, which will be the first U.S. college to enact the pledge. Starting January 2020, this Florida liberal arts college will no longer purchase most non-essential single-use plastics using college funds. 

Originally inspired by PLAN’s #BFFP campaign and seeded by Will and Alexandria, two students affiliated with Florida’s Student PIRG network, the initiative was quickly brought to Eckerd College’s Reduce Single-Use program to join forces. Over the course of many months, organizers from PLAN, Student PIRGs, and the Reduce Single-Use Project worked together to get this pledge signed. 

“This was a huge time commitment,” said Alexandria, “especially on top of school and everything that comes with being a student, but this is something I am completely dedicated to so it was absolutely worth it.” 

Her hard work paid off! Thanks to this collaboration with Florida Student PIRGs and PLAN’s #BFFP campaign, Eckerd College’s students have led the way to a comprehensive elimination of single-use plastics through academic courses, infrastructure changes, and campus-wide purchasing guidelines.

Alexandria Gordon is Eckerd College’s BFFP Campaign Coordinator, working with FLOPIRG and PLAN to push Eckerd College towards these institutional changes on campus. One of the ways she has been working on this is through brand audits! For #BreakFreeFromPlastic’s 2019 global brand audit, Eckerd students picked up and audited just under 400 pounds of waste.

“It is always so interesting and rewarding to see the biggest polluters on campus. The two biggest brands that were shocking to me were Coca-Cola and Mars… I truly believe that brand audits are a powerful way to begin making change and love being a part of that process,” Alexandria said. 

Originally from Houston, Texas, this sophomore is double majoring in Environmental Studies and Political Science. After graduation, she hopes to continue doing environmental organizing/environmental justice work – look out world!  

Inspired by Alexandria to push your college campus to go plastic-free? Great news, there are so many resources to help you get started! Break Free From Plastic just launched a brand new Plastic-Free Campuses website. Start there by signing up to join the network! You can also check out the Plastic-Free Campus Manual, developed by PLAN with support from the Plastic Pollution Coalition. PLAN’s website has a series of resources for colleges and universities such as campus toolkits, zero waste assessment frameworks, student summits, leadership trainings, and more.

And finally, some words of advice from Alexandria for other college students getting started. 

“At the beginning of this process, I definitely wish I would have known to work with, use, and trust my surroundings. This is my biggest piece of advice to other college students! There was no way I could’ve gotten this pledge signed this quickly and efficiently if I was only working by myself. Instead, I used the resources from PIRG, PLAN, and our Reduce Single Use Project (funded out of the NOAA Marine Debris Program) to push this initiative further. It helped monumentally to be involved with an organization like PIRG from the get-go, so if you have the opportunity to learn from other professionals in this area, take it! It is also so important for other college students and anyone doing this work to always remember and remind ourselves of our why. At times work like this can seem endless and maybe even impossible. For me, when times got really difficult and I was extremely stressed out and just not sure where this would go, I reminded myself of why I am doing this in the first place. That always without fail encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing, and push for the outcome I wanted. Good luck to anyone else looking to working on a similar project!”

Argentina’s new waste decree is illegal and must be repealed

Argentina’s new waste decree is illegal and must be repealed

Social and environmental organizations reveal Basel Convention violations

On 26 August, Argentinian president Mauricio Macri signed decree 591/2019, reclassifying what are considered wastes and what are considered commodities in the context of international trade (transboundary movements). According to local and international environmental and social organizations, the new waste decree is illegal under international law, and places its environment, health, and recycling jobs at risk. The groups today called for the decree’s immediate repeal.

The Basel Action Network (BAN) and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) joined the Anti-Incineration Citizens Coalition of Argentina, Greenpeace Argentina and the Argentinian Federation of Waste Pickers (FACCyR) in expressing surprise and alarm over the decree as it violates Argentina’s legal obligations to uphold waste definitions established in the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention), the international treaty that regulates global waste flows. 

The Basel Convention defines wastes in a manner that includes materials destined for “recovery” operations, which include recycling, but also “waste-to-energy” incineration and co-incineration in cement kilns. These operations can lead to significant pollution, and thus the Basel Convention requires parties to control them as wastes. Decree 591 limits the definition of waste dramatically, allowing many wastes destined for recycling or incineration to escape control. The Basel Convention does not allow countries that are party to it to unilaterally reduce the scope of the treaty by new national definitions or other means.

“Argentina has already agreed to the international definition of waste when it joined the Basel Convention,” said Jim Puckett, founder and director of the Basel Action Network, a global waste trade watchdog organization. “Unless it wishes to leave the Convention at the same time, this decree, as written, violates international law.” 

“This decree that turns Argentina into the world’s dump is issued in a very significant international context. When countries such as China, Malaysia and Indonesia are closing their borders to plastic waste, and United States needs new places to export its trash, President Macri approves decree 591 that allows the import of this trash,” said Raúl Montenegro from FUNAM (Environmental Defence Foundation) and the Anti-Incinerator Citizens Coalition of Argentina. 

“This decree could mean an open door policy for foreign wastes coming into Argentina, and the pollution that comes with it. Our investigations show that global waste flows magnify global inequalities, and harm local communities in receiving countries, particularly when it comes to plastic waste and e-waste. Often, imported wastes end up being used to fuel cement kilns or feed incinerators, emitting dioxins, furan and heavy metals, as well as lots of carbon emissions,” said Cecilia Allen, Global Programs Advisor at GAIA. 

“The decree, if retained, also puts at risk the jobs of 150,000 informal recyclers who work nationwide and are the largest suppliers of Argentina’s recycling industry. If waste imports encourage incineration, it is hard to imagine how the recycling industry will survive. In addition, most of the recyclables produced domestically are either recycled by the colleagues who work in dumps or landfills or wasted due to lack of governmental support to recycling. Instead of importing waste we should be recycling the materials we produce here,” said Jacquelina Flores, Secretary of the Argentinian Waste Pickers Federation.  

Argentinian lawyers, recyclers and environmental activists have also filed a motion to repeal the decree on grounds that it violates Article 41 of Argentina’s constitution that guarantees environmental protection and bans toxic waste imports. Argentinian environmental groups’s mobilisation to repeal the decree has been mirrored by the mobilisation of informal sector recyclers, who marched in the capital Buenos Aires a few weeks ago. 

 For more information, please contact: 

Photo from Jenni Hume – Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland

 

Opposition Letter to Save our Seas Legislation

Opposition Letter to Save our Seas Legislation

September 24th, 2019

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
717 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510
And
Senator Dan Sullivan
302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510

Re: Opposition to the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, Senate bill 1982, Senate bill 2260, Senate bill 2364, Senate bill 2372

Dear Senator Whitehouse and Senator Sullivan:

The undersigned are writing to oppose the “Save our Seas 2.0 Act”. While we appreciate your attention to the important issue of plastic pollution, this legislation does not provide a comprehensive approach to solving the growing problem of plastic pollution and certain provisions of the bill will make the problem worse.

We need Congress to pass legislation that reduces the generation of plastic, particularly single-use plastic packaging. This bill does not do that.

The public and a growing number of businesses are focused on the impacts of the entire lifecycle of plastic, from production, including fossil fuel extraction, to manufacturing, use, disposal – especially plastic incineration – and pollution in the environment. These impacts include significant and growing greenhouse gas emissions, toxic health impacts, plastic and microplastic pollution, degradation of water quality, damage to fish and wildlife, and the severe and too often unnoticed environmental justice impacts in communities where petrochemical facilities are sited. That is why hundreds of local governments, many in bi-partisan fashion, have adopted laws that ban or limit a range of plastic packaging such as plastic bags, polystyrene containers, plastic straws, balloons, plastic utensils and other single-use plastics. Beyond bans, we need a national law that reduces plastic generation, not just end-of-pipe approaches to manage plastic waste once it has been produced.

The primary focus of legislation addressing the plastic pollution crisis should focus on reducing the manufacturing and use of plastics – not attempts to clean it up after the fact. Your legislation directs a number of federal agencies to do studies, launches a Genius prize, and establishes a new Foundation housed at NOAA. While these efforts may have some positive impact, the bill ultimately approaches the issue as one of waste management, not overproduction of plastic, and risks further entrenching the systems that produce plastic rather than dislodging them. In particular, sections 305 (Study on repurposing plastic waste in infrastructure) and 306 (study on options to advance technologies for converting plastic waste to chemicals, feedstocks, and other useful products) are likely to expand markets for plastic waste which will then rely on a steady stream of plastic to stay viable. Many of these false solutions, such as incineration, waste-to-fuel, and pyrolysis approaches, are dangerous in their own right, and expanding their footprint on the American economy will only make it harder to phase out single-use and unnecessary plastic. We understand that the section of the bill dealing with incineration, gasification, pyrolysis of plastics has been removed from this bill but may be again added at a future date.  We applaud it being removed and urge you to keep that section out of all future bills.

This is particularly concerning when considered alongside the enormous investments being made by the petrochemical industry in new facilities to produce ever more virgin plastic. According to the American Chemistry Council, over $204 billion in capital investment have been announced for 334 new or expanded facilities linked to US shale gas. Most of this investment is in facilities to produce plastic or plastic precursor chemicals. Industry plans to expand plastic production will overwhelm any efforts to strengthen the US recycling system.

This expansion is a climate and environmental justice crisis. The climate crisis cannot be solved without dealing with plastic production. A recent report calculated that, if trends in the plastic industry continue as planned, the plastic lifecycle could account for up to 13% of the global carbon budget just by 2050. Moreover, communities living close to facilities which produce and incinerate plastic, disproportionately low-income communities and communities of color, will be exposed to dangerous levels of air toxins while massive amounts of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.

We the undersigned organizations request that you withdraw this bill or fundamentally change it so it focuses on reducing the generation of plastic, not the continued generation of plastic that inevitably damages the marine environment and then adds a new layer of problems from the air pollution at the gasification or incineration or pyrolysis or waste to fuel facilities that are not viable environmental or economic options.

The American people are actively working on the perils of plastic pollution and taking action at the local and state level. It would be a shame not to capitalize on the growing public interest in this issue and pass federal legislation that does not effectively address this problem.

We would be happy to discuss these concerns with you at your convenience. Please contact Judith Enck, founder of Beyond Plastics at 518.605.1770 or JudithEnck@Bennington.edu to arrange a time to discuss this matter.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

    1. Judith Enck, Beyond Plastics, Bennington, Vermont
    2. Steven Feit, Center for International Environmental Law, Washington, DC
    3. Jackie Nuñez, The Last Plastic Straw, Santa Cruz, California
    4. Harith Wickrema, Island Green Living Association, St. John, Virgin Islands
    5. Young Grguras, Post-landfill Action Network, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    6. Ellie Cohen, The Climate Center, Santa Rosa, California
    7. Elise Semonian, Town PLanner, San Anselmo, California
    8. Anna Cummins, The 5 Gyres Institute, Los Angeles, California
    9. Heather Trim, Zero Waste Washington, Seattle, Washington
    10. Stiv Wilson, Story of Stuff Project, Berkeley, California
    11. Leslie Tamminen, 7th Generation Advisors, Los Angeles, California
    12. Denise Patel, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, New York, New York
    13. Yvonne Taylor, Seneca Lake Guardian, a Waterkeeper Alliance Affiliate, Watkins Glen, New York
    14. Jon Phillips, Co-Chair, Keep-It-Greene, Catskill, New York
    15. Mark Lichtenstein, Embrace Impatience Associates, Mexico, New York
    16. Debby Lee Cohen, Cafeteria Culture, New York, New York
    17. Craig Williams, Kentucky Environmental Foundation,  Berea, Kentucky
    18. Tricia Cortez, Rio Grande International Study Center, Laredo, Texas
    19. Christopher Chin, The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education, Oakland, California
    20. Paul Burns, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Montpelier, Vermont
    21. David Bezanson, Ph.D., 350, Silicon Valley, California
    22. Dianna Cohen, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Los Angeles, California
    23. Patricia Wood, Grassroots Environmental Education, Port Washington, New York
    24. KT Andresky, Breathe Free Detroit, Detroit, Michigan
    25. Bradley M. Campbell, Conservation Law Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts
    26. Miriam Gordon, UPSTREAM, San Francisco, California
    27. Theresa Landrum, Original United Citizens of Southwest Detroit, Detroit, Michigan
    28. Pamela Carter, 48217 Community and Environmental Health Organization, Detroit, Michigan
    29. Mary Buxton, 350, Silicon Valley, California
    30. Nicole Kemeny, 350, Silicon Valley, California
    31. Shilpi Chhotray, Break Free From Plastic, Oakland, California
    32. Sandra Steingraber, PhD, Concerned Health Professionals, New York, New York
    33. Robert Nuñez, Californians Against Waste, Sacramento, California
    34. Tracy Frisch, Clean Air Action Network, Glens Falls, New York
    35. Joanie Steinhaus, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Galveston, Texas
    36. Charlene Lemoine, Waukesha County Environmental Action League, Waukesha, Wisconsin
    37. Melissa Cooper Sargent, Ecology Center, Detroit, Michigan
    38. Lynn Hoffman, Eureka Recycling, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Break Free From Plastic conducts massive global “brand audit” actions

Break Free From Plastic conducts massive global “brand audit” actions

#BrandAudit2019 to highlight the power of citizens in holding corporate plastic polluters accountable

(September 21, 2019) — On World Cleanup Day today, Break Free From Plastic, the global movement working to stop plastic pollution for good, is highlighting the power of citizen action to hold corporate polluters accountable for the plastic pollution crisis.  

Through its #BrandAudit2019 initiative, members of  the #breakfreefromplastic movement have collectively organized over 700 brand audits in 84 countries to identify the brands responsible for the plastic pollution found in worldwide cleanups and record data to hold those brands accountable. These global coordinated citizen actions started during the last week of August and conclude today in celebration of the World Cleanup Day. 

“Every time we do clean ups, we are confronted with the pervasive problem of plastic pollution suffocating the planet.  By doing brand audits, we are able to expose and challenge the real drivers of this crisis, especially the companies who keep marketing and selling their products in disposable, throwaway packaging. We can’t keep cleaning up after the mess created by these corporations. They need to be held accountable,”  said Emma Priestland, #breakfreefromplastic Corporate Campaign Coordinator.

“Corporations must own up to the plastic pollution that they are causing. These corporations have been inundating the Global South market with single-use products and multilayer small size sachets or packets that, according to them, are pro-poor, but can hardly be recycled. However, these corporations are the ones making profits out of this throwaway packaging, while at the same time polluting developing countries and calling us the world’s biggest polluters,” Daru Rini of Indonesia-based Ecoton. 

In the recently held Waste Assessment and Brand Audit in Surabaya River, Indonesia, Ecoton has identified plastic residual wastes such as soiled diapers, sachets or packets, and PET bottles as the biggest percentage of plastic waste. These single-use plastics that can neither be recycled nor composted are the biggest threat to achieving Zero Waste, and are to blame for releasing microplastics into the environment.

Indonesia, along with other Southeast Asian countries, are reeling from the impacts of plastic pollution brought about by the influx of products wrapped in sachets or smaller plastic packaging aimed at reaching lower income brackets in developing countries. However, communities and governments often bear the brunt of managing the disposal of these unrecyclable plastic packaging while multinational corporations’ continued production and use of single-use plastic packaging is  escaping scrutiny and accountability.

“Communities around the world have carried the burden of cleaning up the plastic pollution created by corporations for too long. Brand audits transform beach cleanups into something truly powerful—a way to stop plastic pollution at the source by holding corporate polluters accountable. We will only see real change when companies like Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo. end their reliance on fossil fuel-based plastic and throwaway packaging,” said Graham Forbes, Greenpeace USA Global Project Leader.

From North and South America to Europe to Africa and Asia,  #breakfreefromplastic has mobilized groups and individuals with a common mission to expose branded trash so that corporations can no longer pass the burden to citizens and governments. This year’s brand audit initiative has mobilized a massive number of volunteers in countries like Taiwan (11,000), Colombia (10,000) China (7 coastal cleanups), Benin (1800), Tanzania (1500), Kenya (700), Ecuador (600 volunteers), Ivory Coast (600 volunteers), India (600), Ghana (500 volunteers), the Philippines (500), and over 200 in Malawi, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Brazil as well as many different groups in Nigeria and the Philippines. This year’s number of brand audit actions has tripled compared to last year. 

The results of this year’s global brand audits will be revealed and showcased in a report scheduled for release in the coming weeks. Last year, the results were  consolidated in a report entitled Branded: In Search of the World’s Top Corporate Polluters vol. 1 which revealed that among the world’s most polluting brands are multinational companies Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Danone, Mondelez International, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Perfetti van Melle, Mars Incorporated, and Colgate-Palmolive. 

The top three companies alone (Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé) accounted for 14% of the branded plastic pollution found in the six regions where the audits were conducted. These worldwide coordinated brand audits have been putting much pressure on companies to be responsible and accountable for the “branded pollution” that they have been causing. It has also emboldened the Break Free From Plastic movement to issue a Corporate Leadership Challenge in October 2018 and to reinforce its corporate call on the 3Rs: reveal how much plastic goes into markets and environments each year; reduce the amount of plastic produced and packaged; and reinvent how goods are packaged and delivered.//ends

About BFFP –  #breakfreefromplastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in September 2016, over 1,500 non-governmental organizations and individuals from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. These organizations share the common values of environmental protection and social justice, which guide their work at the community level and represent a global, unified vision. www.breakfreefromplastic.org.

Notes to Editors: 

To view the brand audit toolkit, click here.

To read last year’s Brand Audit report, click here

Press Contacts:

Shilpi Chhotray, Senior Communications Officer (Global+U.S.), Break Free From Plastic 

shilpi@breakfreefromplastic.org | +1 703 400 9986

Matt Franklin, Communications Officer for Europe, Break Free From Plastic 

matt@breakfreefromplastic.org | +44 7923 373831

Jed Alegado, Communications Officer for Asia Pacific, Break Free from Plastic

jed@breakfreefromplastic.org | +63 917 607 0248

Supreme Court: Local Governments Can Ban Single-Use Plastics

Supreme Court: Local Governments Can Ban Single-Use Plastics

Jakarta, 17th of July 2019. On Thursday, 23rd of May 2019, the Supreme Court through the Court Decision Number 29 P/HUM/2019 decided to reject the judicial review from the Indonesian Plastic Recycling Association (ADUPI), CV Cahya Jaya, and PT Hartono Sinar Cemerlang Plasindo. The Supreme Court ruled that Bali Governor Regulation No. 97 of 2018 concerning Single-Use Plastics Ban is in accordance with higher regulations.

“The effort to avoid single-use plastics is a concrete step in reducing plastic waste according to Waste Management Act Number 18 of 2008, which is done by prohibiting, and/or limiting its production, distribution, sales, and/or use,” said Tiza Mafira, Executive Director of Gerakan Indonesia Diet Kantong Plastik.

This is in accordance with the principle of decentralisation in accordance with Local Government Act Number 23 of 2014 where the local government has the authority to make regional policies to regulate its own government affairs.

“Based on Government Regulation No. 81 of 2012 concerning Household Waste Management, provincial policies and strategies in waste management are stipulated by a Governor Regulation. This is an opportunity for other governors who have strong commitments like Bali to issue the same regulation. Hopefully the national government will also be exploring a similar opportunity,” explained Henri Subagiyo, Executive Director of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL).

“This decision provides significant legal support for efforts to reduce plastic waste in Indonesia,” said Andri Gunawan Wibisana, Environmental Law Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia.

Based on various kinds of considerations, it is evident that the plastic bags, plastic straws, and Styrofoam ban is not contradictory with the Waste Management Act, Legal Drafting Act, Human Rights Act, and the Governmental Administration Act.

“We appreciate the judges for applying human rights law appropriately, including inserting our opinions into the ruling. Hopefully it will be a positive precedent for the realisation of a healthy environment,” said Executive Director of Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid.

In a press release distributed by the Bali Provincial Government, it was stated that with this Supreme Court Decision, all parties must comply with and implement the contents of the Governor of Bali Province Regulation No. 97 of 2018 to maintain the sanctity and harmony of Bali’s nature and its contents in accordance with the Vision of “Nangun Sat Kerthi Loka Bali” through the Development Pattern of Planned Universe towards the New Era of Bali.

The Bali Provincial Government and Krama Bali also gave their highest appreciation and gratitude to all parties who have shown a commitment to the preservation of the natural environment. In the press release, the Bali Provincial Government also stated that other local governments throughout Indonesia need not hesitate nor fear to make policy regulations to realise a clean, green and beautiful Indonesian nature.

This court decision is certainly a good precedent for other local governments that are dealing with the plastic pollution problem and plan to issue single-use plastics ban.

Download press release here.

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