Budget: plastic tax in, latte levy out

James Marshall
November 1, 2018

The companies are B.SCHOENBERG & CO., REPLAS, Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies, Clear Path Recycling, Wellman Advanced Materials, Reprocessed Plastic, PLASgran Ltd., Custom Polymers, CarbonLITE Industries, Luxus Ltd, Butler-MacDonald, KW Plastic, wTe Corporation, Envision Plastic Industries LLC, Kuusakoski, and Shanghai PRET. It will apply to plastics that contain less than 30 per cent recycled material.

"PepsiCo's sustainable plastics vision is to build a PepsiCo where plastics need never become waste", said Dr. Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo's vice chairman and chief scientific officer.

"This partnership with SC Johnson is the first of its kind in Indonesia".

"Our oceans must be protected". I applaud the Indonesian government's pledge to supply $1 billion per year to reduce plastic pollution. Business, government and NGOs must come together to address this important issue. On the day of the press release, the first plastics recycling center was opened in the tourist stronghold of Bali.

Recycling of plastic is broadly defined as collecting waste plastic scraps that are recyclable, processing it with various technologies, and finally treating it with chemicals and additives to produce a newer plastic. The rest of the centers are planned for opening by May 2019.

It will also help reduce poverty in neighboring regions, believes Plastic Bank founder and CEO David Katz. In China, the raw material availability is very less leading to increased consumption of recycled plastic. They, in turn, can use these tokens to purchase goods and services via a decentralized system. Each center will have a minimum capacity of 100 metric tons of plastic per year, with opportunities to exceed that in the future, and is expected to provide opportunities for hundreds of local waste collectors. The improved quality of recycled plastic products over their virgin counterparts, the push from different companies, and strict governmental regulations are the main drivers of the recycled plastic market.

Though the government has not introduced an incineration tax, the budget document states that "in the long term the government wants to maximise the amount of waste sent to recycling instead of incineration and landfill. In this way, we can neutralize our environmental impact while doing something in communities with excessive plastic pollution".

Sarah Baulch, senior oceans campaigner at the Environmental Investigation Agency, said that the tax would only address the "very tip of the plastic iceberg", and that ambitious reduction targets were needed across all single use plastics. Indonesia is of particular concern because the country is home to the world's highest levels of marine biodiversity and its coral reefs, which are threatened by plastics leakage are central to the food chain that sustains millions of people in the area.

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