The government plans to introduce an excise on plastic in May to reduce the use of the material.
The Finance Ministry’s customs and excise director general, Heru Pambudi, said in Jakarta on Monday that a draft of a government regulation was being discussed by the relevant government agencies.
“An interministerial committee tasked with drafting the regulation is working now,” Heru said, as reported by kompas.com, adding that the committee was coordinating with House of Representatives Commission XI, which oversees financial affairs.
In addition to the plastic excise, the government also plans to impose duties on several other products, including sweetened beverages and gas emissions.
“But we are now focusing on the excise on plastic. More and more people care about the environment and health issues,” Heru said, adding that the Finance Ministry was targeting Rp 500 billion (US$35 million) in additional revenue from the new excise duties in the state budget.
Although the amount is insignificant compared to the Rp 148 trillion total revenue target from excise duties, Heru said, the policy was expected to reduce the use of plastic, which had caused serious environmental problems.
Previously, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said 80 percent of plastic waste ended up in the ocean, carried through waterways.
Indonesia has been named the biggest marine plastic polluter in the world after China, a country with a much larger population. An estimated 1.3 million tons of plastic waste is accumulated daily across the archipelago.
Last week, workers lifted more than 100 tons of plastic waste from the Jakarta bay.