People Power in Plastic Diet Movement

A session by Indonesia Plastic Bag Diet Movement 

Date : Thursday, 16 November 2017
Time : 13.00 – 14.30
Venue : Indonesia Pavilion at COP 23, Bonn Zone, Number A02, Bonn, Germany


The Indonesia Plastic Bag Diet Movement’s petition in 2015, demanding that retailers no longer give out plastic bags for free, gained 70,000 signatures. Two months later, the Ministry of Environment acknowledged the petition, and immediately rolled out a nationwide trial of a plastic bag charge.  The trial lasted 6 months, and revealed stunning results.  A 55% reduction of plastic bag use. Consumer awareness of plastic bag problems shot up by 80%.  The majority of consumers across all demographics agreed to bring their own reusable bags to shops.  Up to ten different provinces geared up to create their own local regulations.  And in a stunning show of leadership and decisiveness, Banjarmasin became the first city in Indonesia to ban single use plastic bags in modern retail stores.

Indonesia has since then pledged to cut marine plastic pollution by 70% by 2025, but the pay4plastic trial had ended. Major efforts are underway to continue the policy nationwide. Regional governments are coming up with local initiatives. Civil society and modern retailers are working together to preserve the momentum for less plastic bag use. Multiple ministries are putting their weight behind a plastic bag charge.  There is a transformative change underway right now in Indonesia, all because of that tricky item called the plastic bag.

This session will highlight the successes, the setbacks, and the challenges ahead for Indonesia, in controlling the out-of-control use of plastic bags.




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