Indonesia produces 65 million tons of waste each year. With an estimated recycling rate of 2-11 percent, approximately 60 million T remains unused in landfills each year, illegally dumped into water bodies, or dumped in unsuitable locations and sometimes incinerated. Landfills across the country are overflowing. The existing waste management system is inadequate, local authorities overburdened. A functioning circular economy with EPR cannot be introduced by the state alone. The involvement of the private sector is essential to solve the problems in waste management in a sustainable way. The population would wish it. Open waste incineration, uncontrolled disposal and polluted waters are part of everyday life. In addition to the permanent odor pollution, incineration and rotting also release pollutants into the air.
Due to the lack of waste separation at the polluter level, recyclable materials are already polluted when they are sorted out of mixed waste. Cleaning and processing for later use is cost-intensive. New packaging materials can hardly be produced from them. New plastic has to be produced instead of using collected residual materials. By establishing (elements of) an EPR, the entire sector will benefit. The current primarily informal collection process would become a transparent formal sector. This will create new and better opportunities for employment for people in the informal sector. Therefore, a functioning circular economy not only makes sense in terms of environmental and economic policy, but is also desirable in terms of social policy.
Members of the private sector initiative Packaging and Recycling Association for Indonesia Sustainable Environment (PRAISE) have already committed to increasing the local availability and use of recycled materials. With the establishment of the Indonesia Packaging Recovery Organization (IPRO), a further important step has been taken toward Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). IPRO is to organize the collection of packaging and, among other things, cooperate with the more than 10,000 waste banks and other collection points nationwide.