Indonesia’s exports of recycled plastic have fallen by 70% in the last few months because of a shortage of supplies required for production since Jakarta tightened guidelines on imported waste, an industry body mentioned on Friday.
In June, Indonesia joined several other Southeast Asian countries in sending again imported trash after a spike in shipments from Western countries after China banned imports.
Indonesia’s plastic recycling business uses imported plastic scraps in its products, mentioned Akhmad Ma’ruf Maulana, chairman of the Association of Indonesian Industrial Plastic Exporters and Importers.
A shortage of scraps means members of the affiliation may only produce 20%-30% of their standard output and have been forced to send home thousands of staff, significant than half of their workforces.
Indonesian authorities sent back around 100 tonnes of paper waste in June because it was contaminated with material including plastic, rubber, and diapers.
Since then the country has increased monitoring of incoming imports of scraps, resulting in long delays at ports and a few re-exports of the waste.
Some containers of scraps have been waiting for inspection at ports since May, Maulana said, resulting in further costs for importers.
He mentioned that they need to be nurtured, not destroyed. That is destruction towards their business that they’ve built for years.
Industry Ministry data reveals that Indonesia’s plastic recycling industries often sourced 913,000 tonnes of plastic waste domestically each year and import around 320,000 tonnes.
This year, the ministry initially estimated the export potential for recycled plastic at $441 million, up from $370 million in 2018.