Plastic waste is a huge problem in Indonesia. Over the past few years, various images surfaced on the Internet and media showing how beaches on Bali – the famous island that forms the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia - are swamped by plastic garbage. Another example is the city of Bandung (West Java) where the Indonesian army had to lend a helping hand last year to fish plastic garbage out of local rivers.
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 248,852 confirmed infections, 9,677 deaths (21 September 2020)
21 September 2020 (closed)
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Today's Headlines Pollution
As is widely known, especially to those who have visited certain beaches in Bali, Indonesia needs to combat water pollution, and specifically plastic waste. While local authorities on Bali announced earlier this week to enact a ban on single-use plastics, such as shopping bags, styrofoam food packets and straws (while Jakarta may follow suit), Indonesia's Industry Ministry expressed it opposes an earlier plan to impose an excise tax on plastic bags.
Indonesia's Financial Services Authority (OJK), the government agency that regulates and supervises the financial services sector of Indonesia, released a roadmap for the development of the sustainable finance sector, both for the middle-long period (2015-2019) and the long-term period (2015-2024). OJK Chairman Muliaman Hadad explained that these roadmaps, made in cooperation with the Ministry of Forestry and Environment, contain guidelines and directions for the development of sustainable finance in Indonesia.
Again schools were ordered to shut (for at least two days) in Malaysia in order to protect children from inhaling smog as the air quality remains at very unhealthy levels (nearly hazardous in some regions). The air pollutant index still shows readings of between 201 to 300 in six districts around Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur. The haze, which - reportedly - may become the worst haze ever, is caused by companies' and people's illegal slash-and-burn practices to clear land for planting on parts of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan. The situation is exacerbated by the (El Nino-related) prolonged dry season.
While Malaysian authorities ordered more schools to close on Monday, schools in Singapore reopened on the first day of the week as the air quality improved. However, although having improved, the air quality in Singapore remains unhealthy. The pollutant standards index in Singapore was 161 (meaning unhealthy) around 11 am local Singapore time on Monday (improving from a ‘hazardous’ reading of 341 last Friday). Meanwhile, Singapore mentioned five companies as having contributed to the forest fires that are causing the severe haze in Southeast Asia.
The pulp and paper industry in Indonesia is expected to expand five percent in 2015 on rising paper consumption in Asia and particularly in China, the world’s second-largest economy. Rising consumption will lead to an intensifying of global competition in the pulp and paper industry. Global pulp demand is forecast to rise 2.6 percent per year to 38.9 million tons by 2025 from 24.5 million tons in 2010. Over the same period, pulp demand in China is estimated to grow 6.4 percent per year to 14.3 million tons by 2025.
Forest fires on the Indonesian island Sumatra have brought severe smog over Singapore's skyline for the past five days, reaching record breaking levels of air pollution in Southeast Asia's wealthy city state. The forest fires are believed to be caused by illegal slash and burn practice on Indonesia's forest-rich island of Sumatra (for palm oil expansion) and represent a recurring problem in the dry season. Besides the environmental disaster, the forest fires cause health issues as well as economic losses for Singapore.
Latest Columns Pollution
It was reported in media around the globe near the end of July 2019 that Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta has been constantly ranked in the top 10 of the world's most polluted cities over the past two months (based on AirVisual’s World Air Quality Index, AQI). And, for several days in July 2019 this mega-city was even ranked as the world's smoggiest city.
One of the solid growing markets in Indonesia that remains untapped is the water purifier market. Although Indonesia holds six percent of the world’s fresh water resources, the quality of Indonesia’s public piped water is inadequate (contaminated with E. coli, fecal coliforms and other pathogens). Moreover, roughly 80 percent of the Indonesian population lacks access to piped water hence relying on river water for drinking, washing and bathing. However, the water of most Indonesian rivers do not meet drinking water requirements.
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