The Indonesian government has planned to impose a cleaning levy on domestic and foreign tourists visiting several main destinations to help improve sustainable waste management in those areas. Bali and Labuan Bajo are included in the list.
“We can prepare a policy on cleaning levy in tourist destinations, including Bali and Labuan Bajo,” Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated at a news conference here on Friday.
To this end, further meetings will be held to discuss waste-related matters. A model of waste management will be in place to be implemented at the targeted destinations, Luhut explained.
The funds, collected from the cleaning levy, will be channeled for applying waste management practices, Luhut remarked. He said that a foreign tourist will be charged around US$10, while a local visitor will be requested to pay $1.
If the policy on cleaning levy had officially been made effective, the levy could be drawn by the hotel management from the visiting tourists. The collected funds could then be managed by the city and district governments to clean up their tourist destination areas, he explained.
The government has been paying serious attention to tackle the problem of plastic waste in the country. Eight cities have, so far, banned the use of plastic bags. In the Indonesian resort island of Bali, both plastic bags and straws are banned, he pointed out.
“We have been seeking alternative raw materials, which are environment-friendly, such as cassava, but the costs remain high. This is reasonable, as the demand remains low,” he noted.
Plastic waste is not merely a problem of today but also a future issue, since if ingested by fish in seas and rivers and then consumed by pregnant women, babies born to such females could potentially suffer from stunted growth. In Pari Island, Thousand Islands District, North Jakarta, marine waste has reportedly killed vast stocks of fish.
“We do not want our next generation to suffer from stunted growth. Hence, this plastic waste must be handled comprehensively,” Luhut added.