National Framework to Tackle Marine Plastic Debris

General Explanation

 

Solving the issue of marine litter requires the involvement and cooperation of ministries in charge of fishery, coastal and river management, land-based waste management, industries producing and using plastics, recycling industries, and others. Due to the longer upstream–downstream supply chains of plastics products, leakage of plastics into the environment should be reduced at all stages, from production to distribution to consumption.

The establishment of a national coordination mechanism will harmonize related ministries’ activities. The mechanism is expected to (1) clarify the role of each ministry; (2) share knowledge and experience among ministries; (3) facilitate collaboration; (4) adjust burden sharing, including costs sharing; and (5) lead international cooperation.

The roles of specific ministries are different in each country. For example, the leading ministry on waste management may be ministry in charge of environment, public works, local government and others. 

National laws related to marine plastic debris varies. Some countries have specific law on marine debris. Some examples of laws related to marine plastic debris are law to protect marine environment, law on environment in general, law on waste management, law for promoting recycling and others. Local governments also have some regulation to tackle single use plastics and others.

Governments also adopt some international agreements which are related to marine plastic debris issue, such as the 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention), the 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention), and International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

This National Framework Section covers the Ministries and Coordination Mechanism, National Laws and Regulations, Local Regulations, Action Plans and Roadmaps, and International Agreement.

National Laws and Regulations

Three major laws and regulations tackle marine plastic litter issue in Brunei Darussalam. The Prevention of Pollution of the Sea Order 2005 aims to prevent disposal of waste from ships, including refuse, garbage, effluents, plastics, and dangerous pollutants. Section 5(1) states that ‘… if any disposal or discharge of refuse, garbage, waste matter, trade effluent, plastics or marine pollutant in packaged form occurs from any ship into Brunei Darussalam waters, the master, the owner and the agent of the ship shall each be guilty of an offence …’. Section 16(1) states that any direct or indirect discharge from ships of refuse, garbage, waste, plastics, effluents, and dangerous pollutants into any part of the sea or waters in Brunei Darussalam shall be charged for recovery costs.

 

The Prevention of Pollution of the Sea (Garbage) Regulations 2008, especially Section 4(1), specifies plastic discharge prohibition, covering all plastics, including but not limited to synthetic ropes, synthetic fishing nets, and plastic garbage bags. The Law of Brunei Chapter 30 Minor Offences Act 1929 prohibits littering in public. Environmental Protection and Management Order 2016, specifically Section 41(1), authorises the minister to make regulations that are necessary or expedient to carry out the order’s provisions. Section 41(2)(f) states that ‘… the Minister may also impose requirements with respect to control of land pollution, including industrial waste, domestic waste and littering’. Hazardous Waste (Control of Export, Import and Transit) Order 2013 prohibits the transboundary movement of plastic waste unless the person importing or exporting is authorised to do so. Following recent amendments to the country’s customs import and excise duties, which took effect on 1 April 2017, the volume of plastic and plastic products for import is to be reduced by imposing a 3% excise duty on them (Ministry of Finance, 2017).

 

The Ministry of Development has launched campaigns on plastic waste reduction, such as the promotion of reusable bags during the commemoration of World Environment Day in 2008 (Ministry of Development, 2019). The ‘No Plastic Bag Weekend’ was launched on 26 March 2011 to phase out plastic bag use every Saturday and Sunday, and then every Friday (since 16 February 2012), Thursday (since 19 April 2018), Wednesday (since 11 July 2018), Tuesday (since 2 October 2018), and Monday (since 31 December 2018). In 2013, the Ministry of Development launched a campaign to reduce styrofoam packaging by advising schools to reduce the use of styrofoam containers in their canteens (Ministry of Development, 2019b). Three schools (Sekolah Menengah Sayyidina Hasan, Maktab Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah, and Pusat Tingkatan Enam Katok) have successfully followed this campaign.


References

Local Regulations

 

Local governments have limited regulations to combat marine plastic litter and mainly implement, through their municipal boards, national laws and regulations such as the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea Order 2005, the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea (Garbage) Regulations 2008, and the Environmental Protection and Management Order 2016. Municipal boards comply with the Law of Brunei Chapter 57 Municipal Board 1921, which requires them to take all lawful measures for several purposes, including the removal and disposal of refuse within their areas of control (Section 4). The municipal board has the power to determine levies, especially for sewage treatment and disposal. Section 12 states: ‘An annual rate for the general purposes of this Act, including also the purposes of public lighting, public water supply public sewers, sewage treatment and disposal, and protection from fire, may be imposed upon all lands and upon all houses and buildings within any Municipal Board area not exceeding 15 per centum of their annual value, such rate shall be fixed from time to time by His Majesty in Council after consultation with the Municipal Board and shall be payable by half-yearly instalments in advance without demand by the owners of such lands, houses or buildings in the months of January and July in each year’.


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps

 

The government has set strategies to reduce the generation of solid waste nationwide through two action plans: waste minimisation through 3-R (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) and targeting of a 15% waste recycling rate by 2020 (Energy and Industry Department, 2017) and 30% by 2035 (Akenji et al., 2019).

 

3-R is taking place, particularly amongst the younger generation. The Recycle 123 Handbook (http://www.env.gov.bn/SitePages/Recycle%20123%20Handbook.aspx), using captivating graphics and a ‘did-you-know’ style of delivering content, targets the youth. In 2009, the Brunei Environment Youth Envoy (EYE) was established under the guidance of the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation. It aims to (1) nurture and build a network to foster environmental awareness and action amongst youth at the national and regional levels, (2) collaborate and cooperate on environmental sustainability projects, and (3) enhance environmental knowledge and build capacity to share and impart it to the youth (Brunei Darussalam, 2013). The Brunei EYE has successfully carried out 3-R awareness programmes in five primary schools in Kampong Ayer, a water village on the Brunei River, and two inland primary schools (Brunei Darussalam, 2013). The Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation supports several secondary schools through its eco-clubs, which are run by students and guided by teachers to encourage them to be involved in environmental projects and activities such as beach clean-up.

 

The recycling rate target of 15% by 2027and 30% by 2035 shall be achieved through waste-reduction efforts, including campaigns to transition to reusable bags, the ‘No Plastic Bag Every Day’ initiative, and reduction of styrofoam containers use; installation of recycling bins for paper, plastics, and metals in waste collection centres in the Brunei Muara District and in other schools and universities; and composting initiatives for green wastes (Brunei Darussalam, 2013).

 

A related action plan was formulated based on the Tenth National Development Plan (2012–2017): the second 5-year plan under the Brunei Darussalam Long-Term Development Plan (2007–2035). The plan enhances the provision of a healthy and clean environment, including efficient use of national resources, provision and enforcement of legislation, effective solid waste management, and harmonisation of national commitments and international best practices (Department of Economic Planning and Development, 2012).


References

International Agreement

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International Agreement: The 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (Basel Convention)

 

The Basel Convention was designed to eliminate the risks from transboundary movements of hazardous and other wastes. Article 6 Number 1 of the Convention states: ‘The State of export shall not allow the generator or exporter to commence the transboundary movement until it has received written confirmation that: (a) the notifier has received the written consent of the State of import; and (b) the notifier has received from the State of import confirmation of the existence of a contract between the exporter and the disposer specifying environmentally sound management of the wastes in question’. In its initial version, the Convention covered several categories of waste, including wastes collected from households, but did not include the movement of solid plastic waste (including scrap plastic of non-halogenated polymers and co-polymers, cured waste resins or condensation products, and fluorinated polymer wastes) as listed in B3010 of Annex IX. Table 1 shows the status of adoption of the Basel Convention by the ASEAN+3 countries.

Table 1. Status of Adoption of the Basel Convention

Country 

Status of Adoption (date)* 

Signature 

Ratification 

Accession 

Acceptance 

Brunei Darussalam 

16 December 2002 

Cambodia 

02 March 2001 

Indonesia 

20 September 1993 

Lao PDR 

21 September 2010 

Malaysia 

08 October 1993 

Myanmar 

06 January 2015 

Singapore 

02 January 1996 

Thailand 

22 March 1990 

24 November 1997 

The Philippines 

22 March 1989 

21 October 1993 

Viet Nam 

13 March 1995 

China

22 March 1990

17 December 1991

Japan

17 September 1993

Republic of Korea 

28 February 1994  

* ‘Signature’ authenticates and expresses the willingness to ratify or accept. ‘Ratification’ defines the international act whereby a state indicates its consent to be bound to a treaty. ‘Accession’ is the act whereby a state accepts the offer or the opportunity to be bound to a treaty which has been negotiated and signed by other states. ‘Acceptance’ has the same legal effect as ratification and consequently expresses the consent of a state to be bound by a treaty. In certain states, ‘Acceptance’ is used instead of ‘Ratification’ when, at a national level, constitutional law does not require the treaty to be ratified by the head of state. Source: UN (1980).

Source: UN (1989).

In 1995, the Ban Amendment was adopted by the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties. It provides the prohibition by each Party included in the proposed Annex VII (Parties and other States which are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the European Community, Liechtenstein) of all transboundary movements of certain hazardous wastes intended for final disposal, as well as destined for reuse, recycling, or recovery operations, to States not listed in the Annex VII. The Ban Amendment should enter into force between Parties who have accepted it on the 90th day after the receipt by the depositary of their instrument of ratification, approval, formal confirmation, or acceptance by at least three-fourths of the Parties who accepted the Amendment. Table 2 lists the status of adoption of the amendment by the ASEAN+3 countries. 

Table 2. Status of Adoption of the Amendment to the Basel Convention

Country 

Status of Adoption (date)* 

Ratification 

Accession 

Acceptance 

Brunei Darussalam 

16 December 2002 

Cambodia 

Indonesia 

24 October 2005 

Lao PDR 

Malaysia 

26 October 2001 

Myanmar 

Singapore 

Thailand 

The Philippines 

Viet Nam 

China

01 May 2001 

Japan

Republic of Korea 

* ‘Signature’ authenticates and expresses the willingness to ratify or accept. ‘Ratification’ defines the international act whereby a state indicates its consent to be bound to a treaty. ‘Accession’ is the act whereby a state accepts the offer or the opportunity to be bound to a treaty which has been negotiated and signed by other states. ‘Acceptance’ has the same legal effect as ratification and consequently expresses the consent of a state to be bound by a treaty. In certain states, ‘Acceptance’ is used instead of ‘Ratification’ when, at a national level, constitutional law does not require the treaty to be ratified by the head of state. Source: UN (1980).

Source: UN (1995).

The Fourteenth Conference of Parties of the Basel Convention, held on 14 May 2019, amended Annexes II, VIII, and IX of the Convention. Y 48, on plastic wastes that are a mixture of multiple types of plastics and/or contaminated with other kind of waste, was added to Annex II, which classifies wastes requiring special consideration. Mixtures of plastic waste, consisting of polyethylene, polypropylene, and/or polyethylene terephthalate are excluded from Annex II. Added to Annex VIII (list of hazardous waste) was listing A3210, which concerns plastic wastes, including mixtures of such wastes containing or contaminated with Annex I constituents to an extent that they exhibit an Annex III characteristic. In Annex IX, which lists wastes not under control of the Basel convention, B3011 is replaced with B3010. B3010 states as follows:

  • Plastic waste listed below, provided it is destined for recycling in an environmentally sound manner and almost free from contamination and other types of wastes:
  • Plastic waste almost exclusively consisting of one non-halogenated polymer, including but not limited to the following polymers:
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polystyrene (PS)
  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • Polycarbonates (PC)
  • Polyethers
  • Plastic waste almost exclusively consisting of one cured resin or condensation product, including but not limited to the following resins:
  • Urea formaldehyde resins
  • Phenol formaldehyde resins
  • Melamine formaldehyde resins
  • Epoxy resins
  • Alkyd resins
  • Plastic waste almost exclusively consisting of one of the following fluorinated polymers:
  • Perfluoroethylene/propylene (FEP)
  • Perfluoroalkoxy alkanes:
  • Tetrafluoroethylene/perfluoroalkyl vinyl ether (PFA)
  • Tetrafluoroethylene/perfluoromethyl vinyl ether (MFA)
  • Polyvinylfluoride (PVF)
  • Polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF)
  • Mixtures of plastic waste, consisting of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and/or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), provided they are destined for separate recycling of each material and in an environmentally sound manner, and almost free from contamination and other types of wastes. 

The amendment will be effective in January 2021.


References

International Agreement: The 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention)

 

This Convention, also called the London Convention, promotes the control of all sources of marine pollution and takes practicable steps to prevent pollution (IMO, 2019a). Article IV Number 1(a) of the Convention states: ‘The dumping of wastes or other matter listed in Annex I is prohibited’. Paragraph 4 of Annex I specifies persistent plastics and other synthetic materials (e.g. nettings and ropes), which might float or remain in suspension in the sea in a manner that could interfere with fishing, navigation, or other legitimate uses of the sea. Paragraph 11(d) of Annex I calls for the maximum removal of materials capable of creating floating debris or contributing to marine pollution from vessels and platforms or other man-made structures at sea. These provisions indicate that the Convention is still generally applied to discharges from land-based and not sea-based litter. Therefore, broader interpretation is needed to cover all sources of marine debris (Lentz, 1987). Table 1 shows the status of adoption of the Convention by the ASEAN+3 countries. The Philippines is the only ASEAN country that has ratified the Convention.

Table 1. Status of Adoption of the London Convention

Countries 

Status of Adoption (date)* 

Signature 

Ratification 

Accession 

Acceptance 

Brunei Darussalam 

Cambodia 

Indonesia 

Lao PDR 

Malaysia 

Myanmar 

Singapore 

Thailand 

The Philippines 

29 December 1972 

10 August 1973 

Viet Nam 

China 

14 November 1985 

Japan 

22 June 1973 

15 October 1980 

Republic of Korea 

21 December 1993 

* ‘Signature’ authenticates and expresses the willingness to ratify or accept. ‘Ratification’ defines the international act whereby a state indicates its consent to be bound to a treaty. ‘Accession’ is the act whereby a state accepts the offer or the opportunity to be bound to a treaty which has been negotiated and signed by other states. ‘Acceptance’ has the same legal effect as ratification and consequently expresses the consent of a state to be bound by a treaty. In certain states, ‘Acceptance’ is used instead of ‘Ratification’ when, at a national level, constitutional law does not require the treaty to be ratified by the head of state. Source: UN (1980).

Source: IUCN (1972).

In 1985, the Ninth Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter  issued Resolution LDC.22(9) on environmental hazards caused by the disposal at sea of persistent plastics and other persistent synthetic materials (including fishing nets). This resolution aims to enhance collaboration amongst the Contracting Parties, the Marine Environment Protection Committee, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, and other competent international bodies in action reporting, technical assistance, related activities, as well as measures for collecting and disseminating information on the hazards to living resources and marine life (IMO, 1985).

In 1996, the Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Protocol) was agreed upon to further update, and eventually replace, the Convention (IMO, 2019b). Under the Protocol, all types of dumping are prohibited, except of possibly acceptable wastes. Article 4 Number 1.2 of the Protocol states: ‘The dumping of wastes or other matter listed in Annex 1 shall require a permit. Contracting Parties shall adopt administrative or legislative measures to ensure that issuance of permits and permit conditions comply with provisions of Annex 2. Particular attention shall be paid to opportunities to avoid dumping in favour of environmentally preferable alternatives’. Annex 2 of the Protocol describes the assessment of wastes or other matter that may be considered for dumping, including waste prevention audit; consideration of waste management options; chemical, physical, and biological properties; action list; dump-site selection; assessment of potential effects; monitoring; and permit and permit conditions. The Protocol shows strict procedures that should be completed before certain wastes (including those from vessels and platforms or other man-made structures at sea) can be permitted for dumping. Article 6 of the Protocol also states that Contracting Parties shall not allow the export of wastes or other matter to other countries for dumping or incineration at sea. In short, the Protocol carries out a broader interpretation by considering potential of sea-based litter generated from vessels and platforms or other man-made structures at sea. Table 2 shows the status of adoption to the Protocol by the ASEAN+3 countries.

Table 2. Status of Adoption of the London Protocol

Countries 

Status of Adoption (date)* 

Signature 

Ratification 

Accession 

Acceptance 

Brunei Darussalam 

Cambodia 

Indonesia 

Lao PDR 

Malaysia 

Myanmar 

Singapore 

Thailand 

The Philippines 

09 May 2012 

Viet Nam 

China 

23 March 1998 

29 September 2006 

Japan 

02 October 2007 

Republic of Korea 

22 January 2009 

* ‘Signature’ authenticates and expresses the willingness to ratify or accept. ‘Ratification’ defines the international act whereby a state indicates its consent to be bound to a treaty. ‘Accession’ is the act whereby a state accepts the offer or the opportunity to be bound to a treaty which has been negotiated and signed by other states. ‘Acceptance’ has the same legal effect as ratification and consequently expresses the consent of a state to be bound by a treaty. In certain states, ‘Acceptance’ is used instead of ‘Ratification’ when, at a national level, constitutional law does not require the treaty to be ratified by the head of state. Source: UN (1980).

Source: IUCN (1996).

Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, and the Philippines have followed up the ratification of the Convention and Protocol in certain legal frameworks and implementations.

On 20 July 2007, Japan promulgated the Basic Act of Ocean Policy. Article 18 of this Act states: ‘The State shall take necessary measures to conserve the marine environment including … reduction of the pollution load caused by water flow into the oceans, prevention of the discharge of waste materials to the oceans …’. A related regulation is the Law Relating to the Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disasters, which includes control of waste from and on ships. This law requires companies to find specific places of discharge within the sea area of discharge designated by the national government, perform an environmental impact assessment prior to dumping, and conduct monitoring after dumping (Zou and Zhang, 2017). Ship owners also have to register their ships to the Commandant of Japan Coast Guard, to ensure compliance with the technical standards for securing proper discharge of wastes. Another relevant regulation is the Waste Disposal and Public Cleaning Law, enacted to preserve the environment and improve public health through restriction of waste discharge, appropriate sorting, storage, collection, transport, recycling, disposal, or the like, and conservation of a clean living environment (Zou and Zhang, 2017).

In China, the State Oceanic Administration is implementing the Marine Environmental Protection Law (MEPL). In 1999, the MEPL was amended with the addition of some principles of sustainable development such as control mechanisms for quantity of pollution, environmental impact assessment requirements for coastal and marine construction projects, and the ‘polluter pays’ principle (Zou and Zhang, 2017). After its accession to the London Convention, China adopted in 1985 the Regulations Concerning Dumping of Wastes at Sea and, in 1990, the Measures for Implementation of the Regulations Concerning the Dumping of Wastes at Sea. In 2003, China began implementing the Provisional Measures on the Management of Dumping Sites. Under these measures, any person or entity who intends to dump waste must secure a permit from the State Oceanic Administration, indicating the waste-dumping entity; terms of validity, quantity, and category of wastes; and the method of dumping (Zou and Zhang, 2017). Any person or entity with a permit should dump wastes according to the requirements specified in the permit. Furthermore, Article 11 of the MEPL regulates the dumping fees. The fees are considered so low, however, that polluters would rather pollute than reduce or eliminate pollutants from their origin (Xu, 2006). China Marine Surveillance, a law enforcement agency, is mandated to inspect China’s jurisdictional waters (Zou and Zhang, 2017). Waste dumping without a permit is subject to a fine of no less than RMB30,000 but no more than RMB200,000.

The Republic of Korea adheres to the Convention, having adopted in 2007 the Marine Environmental Management Act (MEMA), which replaced the Marine Pollution Preservation Act, which had been in force since 1997. The MEMA provides for prevention of marine pollution from (1) marine vessels, offshore facilities, etc.; (2) ocean dumping in the territorial sea under the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone Act, the sea area as designated by a presidential decree, and the exclusive economic zone under the Exclusive Economic Zone Act; (3) environment management sea areas designated by the minister of land, transport and maritime affairs; and (4) in sea-bed mining areas designated under the Submarine Mineral Resource Development Act.

The Philippines is implementing the Convention and Protocol through the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004. The Act prohibits dumping in water bodies or along the margins of any surface water, which could result in water pollution or block the natural flow of water. The Philippine Coast Guard implements the Act through the Philippine Coast Guard Law of 2009.


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Malaysia

 

Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018–2030 first addressed the establishment of an institutional framework and governance mechanism to combat marine plastic litter. Through the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC), the federal government will lead in implementing the framework. The state governments will mobilise technical implementation through the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan [KPKT]) and the Ministry of Territories, with the former tasked to develop and deploy a communication, education, and public-awareness programme. The coordination team is formed based on a government mechanism, which is divided into a joint ministerial committee and joint steering committee.

Taking on the major functions of the coordination team, the joint ministerial committee will direct implementation; ensure that actions are implemented on time and effectively; monitor progress towards goals and targets; facilitate the implementation of state, district, and local government actions; provide an avenue for inter-agency planning amongst state agencies; and identify means to strengthen cooperation between the federal and state governments (MESTECC, 2018). The membership structure of the committee is as follows.

Table 1. Membership Structure of the Joint Ministerial Committee

Co-Chairman 

Minister of MESTECC 

Minister of KPKT 

Members 

Minister of MESTECC 

Minister of KPKT 

Environment and local government executive committee of each state 

Secretary general or representatives from federal and state agencies 

Other members by invitation 

Source: MESTECC (2018).

The joint steering committee will ensure that the coordination team functions well. The committee will collect and review inputs from institutions, committees, and forums to further assess the effectiveness of implementation; ensure that resources are mobilised in a timely manner; resolve conflicts; and mobilise ad-hoc taskforces for specific issues (MESTECC, 2018). The membership structure of the committee is as follows.

Table 2. Membership Structure of the Joint Steering Committee

Co-Chairman 

Secretary General of MESTECC 

Secretary General of KPKT 

Member 

Secretary General of MESTECC 

Secretary General of KPKT 

State Secretary 

Representatives from federal and state agencies 

Other members by invitation  

Source: MESTECC (2018).


References

National Laws and Regulations: Malaysia

 

Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018–2030 provides that the legal framework on single-use plastics will be developed mainly in the first phase (2018–2021) and second phase (2022–2025) of the roadmap. The first phase will focus on publishing new eco-labelling ECO001 criteria, including the use of only biodegradable and compostable products and the prohibition of photodegradable and oxo-degradable products. Consumers should adopt the ‘no straw by default’ policy of hypermarkets, supermarkets, departmental stores, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, convenience stores in petrol stations, chain stores, and pharmacies. Consumers are encouraged to bring their own food containers or buy food containers that comply with ECO001 and ECO009. States will charge consumers a minimum of RM0.20 per plastic bag. Malaysia has banned plastic straws in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Labuan (Asia One, 2018) since 01 January 2019 and in Selangor since 01 July 2019 (The Star, 2019), following the ban on plastic bags and polystyrene food packaging in September 2017. In the second phase, the scope of biodegradable and compostable products will be expanded; the Circular Economy Roadmap for plastics, including bottles and other single-use products, implemented; a pollution levy imposed on plastic bag manufacturers; alternative eco-friendly products funded; and a rapid testing kit for ECO001-compliant material developed.

Malaysia has several basic national laws and regulations on waste management.

Environmental Quality Act 1974 states that ‘[n]o person shall, unless licenced, discharge environmentally hazardous substances, pollutants, or wastes into the Malaysian waters … (Section 29)’.

Promotion of Investments Act 1986 gives fiscal incentives for the manufacture of biodegradable packaging and household ware as well as waste-recycling activities listed as promoted products and activities (UNEP, 2018). Manufacturers and promoters of such products and activities are eligible for pioneer status and investment tax allowance.

Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005 classify scheduled wastes. Part II of the first schedule classifies the following as scheduled waste: rags; plastics; paper; or filters contaminated with paint or ink or organic solvents from motor vehicle assembly plants, metal works, electronic or semiconductor plants, and printing or packaging plants (S251).

Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007, part IV, states that any solid waste management services and facilities or any public cleansing management services require a licence from the Director General of Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management. Chapter 30(1) of part V states that ‘[t]he Minister may from time to time prescribe, either separately or as a consolidated rate, controlled solid waste charges, fees, or levy which shall be paid by (a) the owner; (b) the occupier; (c) the local authority; or (d) any other person, to whom solid waste management services are provided under this Act’. In line with part IV, part VIII states that all controlled solid waste shall be deposited, treated, kept, stored, or disposed of only at licenced solid waste management facilities. In addition, any person in possession of any controlled solid waste shall take all reasonable measures to prevent the escape of any controlled solid waste from his possession. Reduction, reuse, and recycling efforts are enhanced by imposing several requirements in part X, including a take-back system and deposit refund system. Malaysia has, since September 2015, enforced mandatory solid waste separation, especially at the source of waste, in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Kedah, and Perlis (Yusof et al., 2019).

Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management (Licensing) (Undertaking or Provision of Public Cleansing Management Services) Regulations 2011 provide further information to any person who intends to apply for a licence, which shall have a duration of not less than 2 years but shall not exceed 5 years. The licensee shall pay the annual licence fee of RM100.


References

Local Regulations: Malaysia

 

Although the national government has limited laws and regulations on specific marine plastic issues, local governments implement several policies and actions.  

Penang was the first state to introduce the ‘No Free Plastic Bags’ campaign, starting on 06 July 2009, with the no-free-plastic-bag-on-Mondays ruling (Jamil and Mustakim, 2011). It was extended to 3 days a week on 01 January 2010 and every day on 01 January 2011 for hypermarkets, supermarkets, pharmacies, fast-food outlets, nasi kandar [curry rice] restaurants, and convenience stores (including petrol stations) (Penang Green Council, 2019). The collected RM0.20 charge for each plastic bag use is donated to the Hardcore Poverty Fund to assist the poor. Penang brought the initiative one step further with a 3-month trial of a policy in July 2019 of not providing plastic bags to shoppers on Mondays even if they are willing to pay the RM 0.20 charge (The Star, 2019). 

Following Penang’s initiative, Selangor declared every Saturday a ‘No Plastic Bag Day’ on 01 January 2010, charging RM0.20 for each plastic bag provided to consumers. Selangor aims to reduce the use of plastic bags and to increase consumer awareness of the negative impacts of using plastic bags (Kamaruddin and Yusuf, 2012). Since 01 January 2017, Selangor has been plastic-free 7 days a week. The state has also banned the use of polystyrene containers. Violators face a fine of up to RM1,000. 

On 01 April 2019, Kedah joined the movement by imposing a ‘No Plastic Bag Day’ every Friday and Saturday and charging a fee for plastic bags issued to consumers. Plastic bags, straws, and styrofoam are also banned. Restaurants, hawkers, and convenience stores must follow the ‘no straw by default’ policy, except if vulnerable people or young children ask for straws (Kwong Wah, 2019). 

Future efforts should be harmonised with the action plans as targeted in Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018–2030. For instance, the roadmap cites the role of local governments in utilising compostable garbage bags for garden waste collection and in collecting pollution charges. Local governments hold the key to achieving the roadmap targets, possibly through different approaches, the success of which should be brought to the national level. 

The Local Government Act 1976, paragraph 69, provides that anyone found guilty of dumping filth in or upon the bank of any stream, channel, public drain, or other water course within a local authority area shall be fined up to RM2,000 or punished with 1-year maximum imprisonment or both. Paragraph 70 prohibits dumping of solids or liquids into any stream by any manufacturer within or outside the limits of a local authority area. 


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Singapore

 

The marine plastic litter issue is addressed by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) through the National Environment Agency (NEA). NEA coordinates international and regional cooperation with different stakeholders. International coordination is usually facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For example, as a part of the Singapore Cooperation Programme, established in 1992, NEA through the Singapore Environment Institute organised in March 2019 the Singapore–Norway Third Country Training Programme titled Regional Training Programme on Waste Management and Reduction of Marine Litter.  The programme aims to share the policy frameworks and practices adopted by Singapore and Norway in waste management and reduction of marine litter, focusing on plastics and microplastics, and to look into proven best practices in Southeast Asia and elsewhere (SCP, 2019).


References

National Laws and Regulations: Singapore

 

Singapore designated 2019 as the Year Towards Zero Waste. The goal of becoming a zero waste nation would be achieved by reducing consumption of materials, and reusing and recycling them for a second lease of life (NEA, 2019).  

NEA utilises the Environmental Protection and Management Act, Chapter 94A (Original Enactment: Act 9 of 1999). Part V, Premise 15, Number 1 states: ‘Any person who discharges or causes or permits to be discharged any trade effluent, oil, chemical, sewage or other polluting matters into any drain or land, without a written permission from the Director-General, shall be guilty of an offence’. Other pollutants may include land-based litter such as plastic waste. Conviction of failure to comply shall result in payment of a fine not exceeding S$5,000.  

In accordance with the Act, another land-based litter prevention is provided in the Environmental Public Health Act Chapter 95 (Original Enactment: Act 14 of 1987). Part III Premise 19 Number (1) Letter (a) states: ‘Any person who drops, scatters, spills or throws any noxious liquid, dirt, sand, earth, gravel, clay, loam, manure, refuse, sawdust, shavings, stone, straw or any other similar matter or thing in any public place (whether from a moving or stationary vehicle or in any other manner) shall be guilty of an offence’. Meanwhile, Part III Premise 20 Number (1) states: ‘Any person who (a) dumps or disposes of any refuse, waste or any other article from a vehicle in a public place; or (b) uses a vehicle for the purpose of dumping or disposing of any refuse, waste or any other article in a public place, shall be guilty of an offence’. The Act was amended on 1 April 2014 to enable a mandatory reporting of waste data and submission of waste reduction plans by any owner, occupier, or lessee of a work place (any premises or place used for any industrial, trade, commercial or manufacturing purposes, including all construction sites, work sites, and farms). 

In practise, the government is going beyond laws and regulations. Since it considers public education and awareness as the most essential factors, Singapore has conducted campaigns such as Clean and Green Singapore and Keep Singapore Clean Movement, programmes for corporations, schemes such as Clean Development Mechanism and Singapore Packaging Agreement, grants and funding such as Towards Zero Waste Grant, and many more.

Adopting the Extended Producer Responsibility framework, Singapore enacted on 04 October 2019 the Resource Sustainability Act 2019 (Act 29 of 2019), which includes regulatory measures on electrical and electronic waste (e-waste), packaging (including plastic) waste, and food waste.

Under the framework,  producers of electrical and electronic products are regulated through the Producer Responsibility Scheme (PRS), in which big producers supplying more than a specified threshold amount of regulated products to the local market will bear the costs of operating the scheme, including collection, treatment, and recycling of wastes. Overall implementation of the PRS will be managed by a licensed PRS operator appointed by the National Environment Agency (NEA). The PRS operator will be responsible in meeting collection targets, which are 60% of put-to-market (supply) weight for large household appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines; and 20% for regulated consumer products such as printers, laptops, mobile phones, routers, lamps, and portable batteries (MEWR, 2019). Large retailers occupying a floor area of or more than 300 square metres must offer in-store collection of certain regulated consumer product waste and ensure its collection by PRS operators (Section 15). Producers of non-consumer products (e.g. commercial and industrial equipment marketed and sold to businesses, such as solar photovoltaic panels and servers) shall provide, upon request, free take-back from their clients of all their end-of-life products and send them to licensed waste collectors or e-waste recyclers (Section 13). These regulatory measures will be enforced starting 01 July 2021.

Manufacturers, importers, brand owners, and retailers of packaged products with an annual turnover of more than S$10 million shall report to the NEA their packaging data (Section 20), which shall consist of information on type of packaging material (e.g. plastic, paper, metal, glass); packaging form (e.g. carrier bag, bottle); and weight (MEWR, 2019). Producers will be required to submit plans to reduce, reuse, and recycle their packaging (3R plan), including details of key initiatives, key performance indicators, and targets. The 3R plan shall consider packaging reduction; packaging collection for reuse or recycling; outreach related to reducing, reusing, and recycling packaging; use of recycled content in packaging; and improvements in recyclability of packaging (MEWR, 2019). Producers will be required to submit progress of their plans in subsequent reports. These regulatory measures will be enforced starting 01 July 2020, with the first reporting submitted to NEA in 2021.

Owners and operators of commercial and industrial premises, including large hotels, malls, housing projects, and food manufacturers and caterers, are mandated to segregate their food waste for treatment (MEWR, 2019). This regulatory measure will come into operation in 2024.


References

Local Regulations: Singapore

 

Singapore has no specific local government that regulates the marine plastic litter issues. However, it works intensively with the 3P (People, Private and Public) sectors to reduce land-based litter. These sectors are equipped with the 3P Partnership Fund which encourages organisations and companies from these sectors to work together to develop innovative and sustainable environmental initiatives that promote environmental ownership amongst the local community (NEA, 2019).


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Singapore

 

As part of the effort to combat marine plastic litter, a Member of Parliament of Singapore proposed to the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) the ban of single-use plastic, However, MEWR (through its senior minister of state) and NEA both argued against it (Eco-Business, 2018), saying that the plastic litter issue should be tackled through public education and not through policy. Senior Minister Amy Khor emphasised that the government’s aim was to encourage consumers and businesses to reduce plastic use ‘beyond what the regulations require’. She explained that ‘[t]his process may take longer. But this is the right way; the positive effects will go beyond plastic bags, beyond packaging, beyond waste management to areas including climate action’. Meanwhile, NEA argued that since majority of residents live in high-rise buildings, plastic bags are still needed to hygienically dispose of their food waste or risk pest outbreaks.

Singapore has conducted several initiatives to reduce plastic use, including the Singapore Packaging Agreement, launched in 2007. This voluntary agreement within industries and non-governmental organisations to reduce packaging waste has successfully gathered 239 signatories and reduced a cumulative of 54,000 tonnes of packaging waste (NEA, 2019a; MEWR, 2019).  Major supermarket, such as NTUC Fairprice, have implemented rebates for consumers who bring their own shopping bags. Some retailers, such as Miniso, have started charging S$0.10 per plastic bag use.

Going forward, Singapore has released the Zero Waste Masterplan which maps  strategies to achieve the vision of Zero Waste Nation (NEA, 2019b) (Table 1).

Table 1. Target Items and Measures on Plastic Waste

Target 

Period 

Measure 

Increase national recycling rate to 70%: 81% non-domestic recycling rate and 30% domestic recycling rate 

2019–2030 

Extend Semakau Landfill’s lifespan beyond 2035 

Reduce the daily amount of waste sent to Semakau Landfill from 0.36 kg/capita (2018) to 0.25 kg/capita (2030) 

Launch the Multi-Storey Recycling Facility to house under one roof recyclers handling different forms of waste streams like metals, e-waste, paper, and plastics  

Enhance the redevelopment and land intensification at Sarimbun Recycling Park to handle a quarter of the country’s recycling 

Redesign the labels on the blue recycling bins for clearer information on what can and cannot be deposited in the bins 

Equip the garbage trucks with robotic arms that can lift and empty recycling bins 

Mandatory packaging data reporting for packaged products producers and supermarkets 

2020 

Packaged products producers and supermarkets with an annual turnover of more than S$10 million will be required to report data on packaging put on the market and their 3R plans for packaging 

Expand the mandatory reporting to all large industrial and commercial premises, including large convention and exhibition centres 

Implement an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework for managing packaging waste including plastics 

No later than 2025 

Further promote sustainable consumption of packaging through the Singapore Packaging Agreement 

Support ground-up initiatives by funding campaigns such as Zero Waste SG’s Bring Your Own (BYO) 

Study the approach and consult with industries 

Benchmark EPR mechanisms for packaging waste management vis-a-vis those adopted by other countries 

Source: NEA (2019b).


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Brunei

 

Brunei Darussalam has no structured coordinating ministries working on marine plastic litter. However, two authorities deal with waste management to combat marine plastic litter: the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (Ministry of Development) and the Department of Municipal Boards (Ministry of Home Affairs). The former collects and disposes solid waste for the entire country while the latter does the same in municipal areas such as Bandar Seri Begawan, Tutong, and Kuala Belait–Seria (Government of Brunei Darussalam, 2019).


References

National Laws and Regulations: Brunei

 

Three major laws and regulations tackle marine plastic litter issue in Brunei Darussalam. The Prevention of Pollution of the Sea Order 2005 aims to prevent disposal of waste from ships, including refuse, garbage, effluents, plastics, and dangerous pollutants. Section 5(1) states that ‘… if any disposal or discharge of refuse, garbage, waste matter, trade effluent, plastics or marine pollutant in packaged form occurs from any ship into Brunei Darussalam waters, the master, the owner and the agent of the ship shall each be guilty of an offence …’. Section 16(1) states that any direct or indirect discharge from ships of refuse, garbage, waste, plastics, effluents, and dangerous pollutants into any part of the sea or waters in Brunei Darussalam shall be charged for recovery costs.

The Prevention of Pollution of the Sea (Garbage) Regulations 2008, especially Section 4(1), specifies plastic discharge prohibition, covering all plastics, including but not limited to synthetic ropes, synthetic fishing nets, and plastic garbage bags. The Law of Brunei Chapter 30 Minor Offences Act 1929 prohibits littering in public. Environmental Protection and Management Order 2016, specifically Section 41(1), authorises the minister to make regulations that are necessary or expedient to carry out the order’s provisions. Section 41(2)(f) states that ‘… the Minister may also impose requirements with respect to control of land pollution, including industrial waste, domestic waste and littering’. Hazardous Waste (Control of Export, Import and Transit) Order 2013 prohibits the transboundary movement of plastic waste unless the person importing or exporting is authorised to do so. Following recent amendments to the country’s customs import and excise duties, which took effect on 01 April 2017, the volume of plastic and plastic products for import is to be reduced by imposing a 3% excise duty on them (Ministry of Finance, 2017).

The Ministry of Development has launched campaigns on plastic waste reduction, such as the promotion of reusable bags during the commemoration of World Environment Day in 2008 (Ministry of Development, 2019a). The ‘No Plastic Bag Weekend’ was launched on 26 March 2011 to phase out plastic bag use every Saturday and Sunday, and then every Friday (since 16 February 2012), Thursday (since 19 April 2018), Wednesday (since 11 July 2018), Tuesday (since 02 October 2018), and Monday (since 31 December 2018). In 2013, the Ministry of Development launched a campaign to reduce styrofoam packaging by advising schools to reduce the use of styrofoam containers in their canteens (Ministry of Development, 2019b). Three schools (Sekolah Menengah Sayyidina Hasan, Maktab Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah, and Pusat Tingkatan Enam Katok) have successfully followed this campaign.


References

Local Regulations: Brunei

 

Local governments have limited regulations to combat marine plastic litter and mainly implement, through their municipal boards, national laws and regulations such as the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea Order 2005, the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea (Garbage) Regulations 2008, and the Environmental Protection and Management Order 2016. Municipal boards comply with the Law of Brunei Chapter 57 Municipal Board 1921, which requires them to take all lawful measures for several purposes, including the removal and disposal of refuse within their areas of control (Section 4). The municipal board has the power to determine levies, especially for sewage treatment and disposal. Section 12 states: ‘An annual rate for the general purposes of this Act, including also the purposes of public lighting, public water supply public sewers, sewage treatment and disposal, and protection from fire, may be imposed upon all lands and upon all houses and buildings within any Municipal Board area not exceeding 15 per centum of their annual value, such rate shall be fixed from time to time by His Majesty in Council after consultation with the Municipal Board and shall be payable by half-yearly instalments in advance without demand by the owners of such lands, houses or buildings in the months of January and July in each year’.


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Brunei

 

The government has set strategies to reduce the generation of solid waste nationwide through two action plans: waste minimisation through 3-R (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) and targeting of a 15% waste recycling rate by 2020 (Energy and Industry Department, 2017) and 30% by 2035 (Akenji et al., 2019).

The 3-R is taking place, particularly amongst the younger generation. The Recycle 123 Handbook, using captivating graphics and a ‘did-you-know’ style of delivering content, targets the youth. In 2009, the Brunei Environment Youth Envoy (EYE) was established under the guidance of the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation. It aims to (1) nurture and build a network to foster environmental awareness and action amongst youth at the national and regional levels, (2) collaborate and cooperate on environmental sustainability projects, and (3) enhance environmental knowledge and build capacity to share and impart it to the youth (Brunei Darussalam, 2013). The Brunei EYE has successfully carried out 3-R awareness programmes in five primary schools in Kampong Ayer, a water village on the Brunei River, and two inland primary schools (Brunei Darussalam, 2013). The Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation supports several secondary schools through its eco-clubs, which are run by students and guided by teachers to encourage them to be involved in environmental projects and activities such as beach clean-up.

The recycling rate target of 15% by 2027 and 30% by 2035 shall be achieved through waste-reduction efforts, including campaigns to transition to reusable bags, the ‘No Plastic Bag Every Day’ initiative, and reduction of styrofoam containers use; installation of recycling bins for paper, plastics, and metals in waste collection centres in the Brunei Muara District and in other schools and universities; and composting initiatives for green wastes (Brunei Darussalam, 2013).

A related action plan was formulated based on the Tenth National Development Plan (2012–2017): the second 5-year plan under the Brunei Darussalam Long-Term Development Plan (2007–2035). The plan enhances the provision of a healthy and clean environment, including efficient use of national resources, provision and enforcement of legislation, effective solid waste management, and harmonisation of national commitments and international best practices (Department of Economic Planning and Development, 2012).


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Thailand

 

Several key authorities are working to solve the marine plastic litter issue in Thailand: the Pollution Control Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, the Ministry of Public Health through the Department of Health, the Ministry of Industry through the Department of Industrial Work, and the Ministry of Interior through the Department of Local Administration and the National and Provincial Waste Management Committee.

The Pollution Control Department develops action plans, measures, and technical guidance. The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning develops general policies and plans, supports their effective implementation, and monitors the effort to mitigate environmental impact. The Department of Environmental Quality Promotion inculcates social awareness and readiness to support the sustainability of the environment and natural resources. The Department of Health collaborates with the Pollution Control Department in formulating plans and standards. The Department of Industrial Work  deals with  the waste generated from the industrial sector. The Department of Local Administration allocates duties to local government authorities and helps them formulate plans. The National and Provincial Waste Management Committee approves outsourcing and any kind of private business engaged in municipal solid waste management.

The latest coordination of municipal solid waste management was developed under the new policy of educating people about the new national rules on municipal solid waste treatment. The effort is being undertaken by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Education, and local administration organisations to raise awareness on waste segregation at source (Funatsu, 2019).

The coordination goes beyond governmental scope. The Thailand Public Private Partnership (PPP) for Plastic and Waste Management or Thailand PPP Plastic is a partnership between ministries and private organisations. The number of organisations that joined the partnership more than doubled from 15 in 2018 to 33 in 2019. They include government agencies such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Industry, and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration; business associations such as the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development; the academic think tank Thailand Environment Institute; and non-governmental organisations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Thai Environmental and Community Development Association (Magic Eyes) (Bangkok Post, 2019). Aligned with Thailand’s 20-Year Road Map target, Thailand PPP Plastic is set to reduce marine plastic debris by at least 50% by 2027.


References

    Bangkok Post (2019), Collaboration key to ending plastic waste. https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1761674/collaboration-key-to-ending-plastic-waste (accessed 30 October 2019).

    Funatsu, T. (2019), ‘Municipal Solid Waste Management in Thai Local Governments: The State of the Problem and Prospects for Regional Waste Management’, in M. Kojima (ed.) Toward Regional Cooperation of Local Governments in ASEAN. Institute of Developing Economies and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, pp.1–22.

National Laws and Regulations: Thailand

 

Although Thailand has conducted several efforts to manage plastic waste, most remain voluntary actions with limited legal measures (Wichaiutcha and Chavalparit, 2019). However, several legal frameworks support the effort.

First, the Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (1992) is the fundamental environmental law that governs the planning for environmental management, monitoring environmental quality, and establishing the system for environmental impact assessment (Siriratpiriya, 2014). Section 23(1) of the Act cites grants to a government agency or local administration for investment in and operation of a central waste disposal facility, including the acquisition and procurement of land, materials, equipment, instruments, tools, and appliances necessary for the operation and maintenance of such facility. Section 80 requires waste disposal facility owners or possessors to submit a report summarising the functioning results of the facility.

Second, the Public Health Act B.E. 2535 (1992) provides local government the power and duty to prescribe rules, procedures, and measures to manage and maintain the collection, transportation, and disposal of sewage and solid waste with provisions of the ministerial regulation (Section 20). Section 7 states that local government may issue or amend local provisions and prescribe details of operation in the locality.

Third, the Act on the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country B.E. 2535 (1992) regulates the prohibition on waste littering, including cars littering on roads (Section 13), places where grass or trees grow (Section 26), and littering on waterways and other public spaces (Section 31–33). As amended on 16 January 2017, the Act outlines the authority of local administration organisations to collect and manage waste under supervision of the provinces and the Ministry of Interior (Funatsu, 2019).

Fourth, the National Health Act B.E. 2550 (2007), especially Section 5, cites the right of every individual to live in a healthy environment and the duty to cooperate with state agencies (including national, provincial, and local governments) to create such an environment.

Fifth, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2550 (2007), Section 73 states that it is every person’s duty to serve in the armed forces, participate in public calamity prevention and rehabilitation, and conserve natural resources and environment. Section 67 rules on public participation in approving any project or activity that may seriously affect environmental quality, natural resources, and biological diversity. The Constitution was amended in 2017. Section 58 declares that the State ‘shall undertake to study and assess the impact on environmental quality and health of the people or community and shall arrange a public hearing of relevant stakeholders, people and communities in advance in order to take them into consideration for the implementation or granting of permission as provided by the law’.


References

    Funatsu, T. (2019), ‘Municipal Solid Waste Management in Thai Local Governments: The State of the Problem and Prospects for Regional Waste Management’, in M. Kojima (ed.) Toward Regional Cooperation of Local Governments in ASEAN. Institute of Developing Economies and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, pp.1–22.

    Government of Thailand (1992), Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (1992). http://thailaws.com/law/t_laws/tlaw0280.pdf (accessed 01 November 2019).

    Government of Thailand (1992), Public Health Act B.E. 2535 (1992). http://thailaws.com/law/t_laws/tlaw0223.pdf (accessed 01 November 2019).

    Government of Thailand (1992), Act on the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country B.E. 2535 (1992). http://www.thailandntr.com/en/trade-in-services/laws/organization/download/283 (accessed 01 November 2019).

    Government of Thailand (2007), National Health Act B.E. 2550 (2007). http://thailaws.com/law/t_laws/tlaw0368.pdf (accessed 01 November 2019).

    Government of Thailand (2007), Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2550 (2007). http://web.krisdika.go.th/data/outsitedata/outsite21/file/Constitution_of_the_Kingdom_of_Thailand.pdf (accessed 01 November 2019).

    Siriratpiriya, O. (2014), ‘Municipal Solid Waste Management in Thailand: Challenges and Strategic Solution’, in A. Pariatamby and M. Tanaka (eds.) Municipal Solid Waste Management in Asia and the Pacific Islands. Singapore: Springer-Verlag, pp.337–54.

    Wichai‑utcha, N. and O. Chavalparit (2019), ‘3Rs Policy and Plastic Waste Management in Thailand’, Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 21(1), pp.10–22.

Local Regulations: Thailand

 

Local government in Thailand is divided into thesabans (municipalities) in cities, districts, subdistricts, and provincial administrative organizations (PAOs); tambons (rural) administrative organizations (TAOs); and special administrative areas, namely Bangkok, the capital and most urbanised city, and Pattaya, the biggest international tourist destination (Nagai et al., 2007). Local governments are generally responsible in handling and managing waste in their areas (Akenji et al., 2019).

Section 50(3) of the Thesaban (Municipal) Act B.E. 2496 (1953) declares that it is the responsibility of thesaban to clean roads, pathways, and public places and rid them of waste. Section 54(11) engages the local government to improve slums and keep them clean. Some famous cities such as Phuket and Hadjai are leading municipality models, with their stable financial backgrounds, and have introduced efficient methods of municipal solid waste management such as incineration. The duties of PAOs are specified in the Provincial Administrative Organization Act B.E. 2542 (1999) (Funatsu, 2019). In tambons, the Tambon Council and Tambon Administrative Organization Act B.E. 2537 (1994) requires TAOs to keep roads, waterways, paths, and public places clean and to provide garbage and sewage services in their territory (Section 67[2]). As a special administrative area, Bangkok  implements the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Act B.E. 2528 (1985) and Pattaya the Pattaya City Administration Act B.E. 2542 (1999) (Administrative Court of Thailand, 2013).

1. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration

The Public Health Act B.E. 2535 (1992) requires each local government to deliver power and handle municipal solid waste management in its jurisdiction (Section 18). The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Act B.E. 2528 (1985), Section 89 (Manomaivibool, 2005) states: ‘Subject to other Laws, it is the duty of Bangkok Metropolitan Authority to do the following in its territory: …(4) maintain the country cleanliness and orderliness…, (14) develop and conserve the environment….’ The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration can impose detailed regulations on municipal solid waste management, including waste collection fees (Manomaivibool, 2005).

2. Pattaya City Administrative Authority

Section 62 of the Pattaya City Administration Act B.E. 2542 (1999) states: ‘Subject to this Act, it is the duty of Pattaya City Administrative Authority to do the following in its territory: … (7) keep the country clean and tidy, (8) disposal of waste and wastewater treatment ….” The Pattaya City Administrative Authority outsources solid waste management to a professional private contractor, which will provide all major phases of solid waste processing, such as collecting, transporting, and disposing (Anantanatorn et al., 2015). The Pattaya City Administrative Authority provides the Pattaya City Solid Waste Management Term of Reference 2015–2019 to regulate the service process, which includes some policies on three phases: employing door-to-door methods of garbage collection, garbage bulk tank stations, and big-container garbage stations; transporting in compacted volume; and disposing garbage into landfills that can handle 400–450 tonnes of solid waste (Anantanatorn et al., 2015).


References

    Administrative Court of Thailand (2013), The Administrative Judge and Environmental Law. https://www.aihja.org/images/users/114/files/Congress_of_Cartagena_-_Report_of_Thailand_2013-THAILAND-EN.pdf (accessed 06 November 2019).

    Akenji, L., M. Bengtsson, M. Kato, M. Hengesbaugh, Y. Hotta, C. Aoki-Suzuki, P.J.D. Gamaralalage, and C. Liu (2019), Circular Economy and Plastics: A Gap-Analysis in ASEAN Member States. Brussels: European Commission Directorate General for Environment and Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development, Jakarta: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    Anantanatorn, A., S. Yossomsakdi, A.F. Wijaya, and S. Rochma (2015), ‘Public Service Management in Local Government, Thailand (Case Study of Solid Waste Management in Pattaya City)’, International Journal of Applied Sociology, 5(1), pp.5–15.

    Funatsu, T. (2019), ‘Municipal Solid Waste Management in Thai Local Governments: The State of the Problem and Prospects for Regional Waste Management’, in M. Kojima (ed.) Toward Regional Cooperation of Local Governments in ASEAN. Institute of Developing Economies and Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, pp.1–22.

    Government of Bangkok (1985), Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Act B.E. 2528. https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Bangkok_Metropolitan_Administration_Act,_BE_2528_(1985)/2007.08.01#c-114 (accessed 06 November 2019).

    Government of Pattaya (1999), Pattaya City Administration Act B.E. 2542 (1999).

    Government of Thailand (1992), Public Health Act B.E. 2535 (1992). http://thailaws.com/law/t_laws/tlaw0223.pdf (accessed 08 November 2019).

    Manomaivibool, P. (2005), Municipal Solid Waste Management in Bangkok: The Cases of the Promotion of Source Reduction and Source Separation in Bangkok and in Roong Aroon School. Lund: IIIEE.

    Nagai, F., K. Ozaki, and Y. Kimata (2007), Analysis from a Capacity Development Perspective: JICA Program on Capacity Building of Thai Local Authorities. Tokyo: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Thailand

 

Thailand has comprehensive action plans and roadmaps to tackle marine plastic litter, which indicates the country’s serious intention to combat this global issue. In May 2016, the National Solid Waste Management Master Plan (2016–2021) was created, and the responsibility for its implementation handed over to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Interior. Table 1 lists the waste management targets in the master plan.

Table 1. Items and Targets on Waste Management

Item 

Targets 

By Year 

Municipal solid waste  

Properly manage more than 75% of total amount of municipal solid waste  

2021 

Properly manage the 100% accumulated municipal solid waste generated in 2015 

2019 

Engage more than 50% of total local authorities to conduct waste segregation at source 

2021 

Industrial waste 

Properly manage 100% of industrial waste 

2020 

Hazardous waste 

Collect and properly dispose of more than 30% of total household hazardous waste 

2021 

Properly manage 100% of infectious medical waste 

2020 

Source: Pollution Control Department (2016)Akenji et al. (2019).

To support the implementation of the master plan, authorities have developed follow-up actions, including activities, plans, and/or roadmaps. Table 2 lists follow-up actions in support of the master plan.

Table 2. Follow-up Actions to Support the Master Plan

Action 

Year 

Aims 

Authority in Charge 

Establish the ‘Thailand Zero Waste Action Plan (2016–2017)’ 

2016 

Achieve short-term targets: 

  • reduce 5% of municipal solid waste disposed 

  • install household hazardous waste collection centres in 100% of communities  

  • properly dispose of 70% of industrial waste 

  • properly dispose of 85% of infectious waste 

Department of Local Administration 

Establish the ‘Plastic Debris Management Plan (2017–2021)’ 

 

2017 

Introduce and encourage environment-friendly design for packaging and plastic substitution; develop material flow for plastic packaging; implement 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) strategy; and enhance education for relevant stakeholders 

Pollution Control Department 

Establish the ‘National Roadmap for Development of Bioplastic Industry’ 

2017 

Design easily degradable plastic for marketing production and to make the country a bioplastic hub 

Ministry of Industry 

Establish the National Reform Committee including Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Environment Reform 

2017 

Address the issue of marine debris under a steering group 

Government of Thailand 

Formulate the 2018 Municipal Solid Waste Management Action Plan 

2018 

Set targets by 2018: 

  • properly dispose of 40% of waste generation 

  • upgrade 20% of improper disposal sites 

  • utilise and recycle 30% of municipal solid waste 

  • install household hazardous waste collection sites in 100% of communities 

Department of Local Administration 

Establish three working groups under the Plastic Waste Management Subcommittee of the National Environment Board 

2018 

Guide the development of policies on reducing unnecessary packaging and products. Each working group shall have different responsibilities: one to develop plastic management mechanisms, one to conduct promotion and public relations,  and one to  develop and utilise plastic waste 

Government of Thailand 

Completely prohibit the use of plastic bags in the 30 hospitals under the Department of Medical Services 

2018 

Reduce single plastic use 

Department of Medical Services (Ministry of Public Health) 

Conduct relevant campaigns in 7,000 locations nationwide  

2018 

Involve schools, government offices, department stores, convenience stores, and open markets in raising public awareness and education towards marine plastic litter 

Department of Environmental Quality Promotion and Ministry of Interior 

Formulate the 10-year plan for plastic and plastic wastes management as the ‘Thailand’s Roadmap on Plastic Waste Management 2018–2030’ 

2019 

Replace plastics with environment-friendly materials under the following policies: 

  • ban by 2019 plastic cap seals, oxo-degradable plastic products, and microbeads  

  • ban by 2022 lightweight plastic bags (less than 36 microns thick), food containers made from foam, single-use plastic cups, and plastic straws  

  • ensure by 2027 the 100% plastic waste reuse 

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment 

Source: Weerathaworn (2013); Akenji et al. (2019); Wichai‑utcha and Chavalparit (2019).

Table 3 lists the step-by-step targets in the ‘Thailand’s Roadmap on Plastic Waste Management 2018–2030’.

Table 3. Detail Targets in the Thailand’s Roadmap on Plastic Waste Management 2018–2030

Target 

Time Frame 

Phase 1 

Phase 2 

Phase 3 

2018 

2019 

2020 

2021 

2022 

2023 

2024 

2025 

2026 

2027 

2028 

2029 

2030 

Ban the use of: 

Plastic cap seals 

80% 

100% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oxo-degradable plastic products 

 

100% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microbeads 

 

100% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightweight plastic bags (less than 36 microns thick)  

 

25% 

50% 

75% 

100% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food containers made from foam  

 

25% 

50% 

75% 

100% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single-use plastic cups 

 

25% 

50% 

75% 

100% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plastic straws 

 

25% 

50% 

75% 

100% 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reuse and recycle (including energy recovery) the targeted plastic waste 

22% 

25% 

30% 

40% 

50% 

60% 

70% 

80% 

90% 

100% 

 

 

 

Source: Pollution Control Department (2018).


References

    Akenji, L., M. Bengtsson, M. Kato, M. Hengesbaugh, Y. Hotta, C. Aoki-Suzuki, P.J.D. Gamaralalage, and C. Liu (2019), Circular Economy and Plastics: A Gap-Analysis in ASEAN Member States. Brussels: European Commission Directorate General for Environment and Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development, Jakarta: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    Pollution Control Department (2016), National Solid Waste Management Master Plan (2016–2021). Pollution Control Department. http://www.pcd.go.th/public/Publications/print_waste.cfm?task=WasteMasterPlan (accessed 01 November 2019).

    Pollution Control Department (2018), Thailand’s Roadmap on Plastic Waste Management 2018–2030. Pollution Control Department.

    Weerathaworn, P. (2013), ‘Trend of Bioplastic Industry in Thailand’, Plastic Foresight, 8(2), pp.12–20.

    Wichai‑utcha, N. and O. Chavalparit (2019), ‘3Rs Policy and Plastic Waste Management in Thailand’, Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 21(1), pp.10–22.

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: The Philippines

 

Coordination in the Philippines on addressing specific marine plastic issues is limited as it is still developing the National Strategy on Marine Litter for the Master Plan on Marine Plastics Management. The country manages solid waste through the National Solid Waste Management Commission under the Office of the President. The commission has 14 members from government agencies and 3 members from the private sector. Table 1 shows the membership structure of the commission.

Table 1. Membership Structure of the National Solid Waste Management Commission

Chairman 

Secretary of Department of Environment and Natural Resources 

Vice Chairman 

Representative of Private Sector 

Secretariat 

Director of Environmental Management Bureau 

Members 

Department of the Interior and Local Government 

Department of Trade and Industry 

Department of Science and Technology 

Department of Agriculture 

Department of Health 

Department of Public Works and Highways 

Technical Education and Skills Development Authority 

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority 

Philippine Information Agency 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources 

League of Provinces of the Philippines 

League of Cities of the Philippines 

League of Municipalities of the Philippines 

League of Barangays of the Philippines 

Recycling Industry 

Plastic Industry 

Non-government Organisation 

Source: EMB (2019).

The commission seeks to enhance the implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, signed in 2001. At the national level, the commission prepares the National Solid Waste Management Framework with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as chair, in coordination with the Department of Health and other concerned agencies, using the National Solid Waste Management Status Report as basis. At the local government level, coordination covers local solid waste management planning and management, technical and other capability building, incentive schemes, education and campaigns, and other related tasks. The commission is tasked to establish the National Ecology Center, which will serve as the centre of information, research, database, training, and networking services to implement the Act. The centre shall engage a multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary pool of experts from the academe, business, and industry; inventors; practicing professionals; youth; women; and other concerned sectors.

The National Pollution Control Commission and the National Environmental Protection Council coordinate with each other although their responsibility for marine plastic litter is limited.

Presidential Decree No. 984 lists the responsibilities of the National Pollution Control Commission, one of which is to govern the issuance of permits for sewage work and industrial waste disposal systems. The commission is attached to the Inter-Agency Advisory Council, headed by a commissioner appointed by the President of the Philippines. The commission is composed of representatives from the departments of agriculture; health; industry; justice; labour; local government and community development; national defence; natural resources;  and public works, transportation, and communications; and the heads of the Laguna Lake Development Authority, National Economic and Development Authority, National Science Development Board, and Human Settlements Commission.

The National Environment Protection Council was established under Presidential Decree No. 1121 to focus on national environment protection measures, including those on used packaging and movement of controlled waste. The commission is composed of the President of the Philippines as chairman, the secretary of natural resources as executive officer, and, as members, the presidential assistant for development; the secretaries of public highways; local government and community development; industry; national defence; and public works, transportation, and communications; the heads of the Energy Development Board, Budget Commission, National Pollution Control Commission, National Science Development Board, and Human Settlements Commission; and the board of the Environmental Center of the Philippines.


References

National Laws and Regulations: The Philippines

 

Littering has been prohibited since 1975 through Presidential Decree No. 825. In 1976, Presidential Decree No. 979 declared as national policy the prevention and control of the pollution of seas by waste dumping. The National Pollution Control Commission promulgates the national policy on marine pollution whilst the Philippine Coast Guard enforces it. The plastic issue is addressed with a holistic approach to solid waste management under Republic Act (RA) No. 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000). Section 2(a) of the Act intends the adoption of a systematic, comprehensive, and ecological solid waste management programme to ensure the protection of public health and the environment. Local collaboration is highly encouraged to support the Act. Section 13 of Article X of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines states: ‘Local government units may group themselves, consolidate or coordinate their efforts, services, and resources for purposes commonly beneficial to them in accordance with law’. Section 33 of RA No. 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991) elaborates on technical guidance to this effort: ‘In support of such undertakings, the local government units (LGUs) involved may, upon approval by the sanggunian (legislative council) concerned, after a public hearing conducted for the purpose, contribute funds, real estate, equipment, and other kinds of property and appoint or assign personnel under such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the participating local units through Memoranda of Agreement’. Pursuant to Section 33 of RA No. 7160, Section 44 of RA No. 9003 mandates all provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays, through appropriate ordinances, to consolidate or coordinate their efforts, services, and resources to jointly address common solid waste management problems and/or establish common waste disposal facilities.

RA No. 9003 mandates barangays and municipalities or cities to segregate and collect solid waste. The Technical Guidelines for Municipal Solid Waste Disposal are imposed in Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order No. 49 Series of 1998. Section 10 of the RA No. 9003 says the barangay will be responsible for biodegradable, compostable, and reusable wastes, provided that the municipality or city shall be responsible for non-recyclable materials and special wastes. In support of the mandate, the provincial solid waste management board (chaired by the provincial governor) and the city and municipal solid waste management board shall be established (Sections 11 and 12 of RA No. 9003). A main function of the provincial solid waste management board is to allow the clustering of LGUs to solve common solid waste management problems.

Ecological solid waste management shall be based on the following hierarchy (DENR, 2015):

  • Source reduction (avoidance) and minimisation of waste generated at source
  • Reuse, recycling, and resource recovery of wastes at the barangay level
  • Efficient collection, proper transfer, and transport of wastes by city or municipality
  • Efficient management of residuals and of final disposal sites and/or any other related technologies for the destruction or reuse of residuals

The barangay plays important roles in the second hierarchy. Section 32 of RA No. 9003 provides for the establishment of a material recovery facility in every barangay or cluster of barangays. The facility shall receive mixed waste for final sorting, segregation, composting, and recycling, whilst resulting residual wastes shall be transferred to a long-term storage or disposal facility or sanitary landfill (DENR, 2015). Section 37 of RA No. 9003 prohibits open dumping within 3 years after the effectivity of the Act and prohibits controlled dumping for 5 years following the effectivity of the Act.

To support RA No. 9003, the government enacted RA No. 9512 (Environmental Awareness and Education Act), which integrates environmental education in curricula at all levels of public and private schools; barangay day-care centres; preschools; and schools that offer non-formal, technical vocational, professional, indigenous learning, and out-of-school youth courses or programmes. Education will cover environmental concepts and principles; environmental laws; the state of international and local environments; local environmental best practises; the threats of environmental degradation and its impact on human well-being; the responsibility of the citizenry to the environment; and the value of conservation, protection, and rehabilitation of natural resources and the environment in the context of sustainable development.


References

Local Regulations: The Philippines

 

Local governments have limited legal instruments to manage solid waste. Local governments are mainly directed to implement RA No. 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000). They are mandated to consolidate or coordinate efforts, services, and resources to jointly address common solid waste management problems and/or establish common waste disposal facilities. The types of consolidation or coordination are the inter-government or inter-LGU partnership and the private enterprise utilised by LGUs. Both types of consolidation or coordination are implemented through memorandums of agreement or contracts.

Examples of partnership under the Act are manifested in several regulations issued by the municipality of Los Baños and Quezon City.

1. Municipality of Los Baños

Solid waste management, especially anti-littering and waste segregation efforts,  in Los Baños was given much attention in 2001 when its mayor started the solid waste management programme through Municipal Ordinance No. 2001-08 (Atienza, 2008). The ordinance mandates the strict implementation of waste and segregation scheme, collection schedules for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes, and penalties for non-compliance. Municipal Ordinance No. 2008-752 was later passed to regulate the use of plastic bags and styrofoam. The ordinance prohibits the use of plastic bags for dry goods and controls the use of plastic bags for wet goods. The use of styrofoam is banned.

About 6 years after its implementation, the ordinance was expanded through Municipal Ordinance No. 2014-1316, (The Expanded Plastic Ordinance of the Municipality of Los Baños) (Los Baños Times, 2016), which now prohibits the use of plastic drinking straws, cups, plates, and spoons and forks.

2. Quezon City

The Quezon City government encourages all barangays to practise solid waste management through Ordinance No. SP-1203, S-2002 (Best Solid Waste Management Incentives in Barangays) (Atienza, 2011). This ordinance enables barangays to receive financial assistance from the city government for practising the best solid waste management. To avail itself of the assistance, the barangay must (1) have a comprehensive solid waste management plan prepared by the barangay and approved by the city, (2) have managed solid waste for at least 6 months and reduced the volume of solid waste by at least 25%, and (3) have an ecological or recycling centre or material recovery facility. Ordinance No. SP-1191, S-2002 offers incentives to barangays that use their own trucks to collect solid waste.


References

    Atienza, V. A. (2008), ‘Breakthroughs in Solid Waste Management: Lessons From Selected Municipality and Barangay in the Philippines’, Asian Review of Public Administration XX(1-2), pp.82–98.

    Atienza, V. A. (2011), ‘Review of the Waste Management System in the Philippines: Initiatives to Promote Waste Segregation and Recycling through Good Governance’, in M. Kojima and E. Michida (eds.) Economic Integration and Recycling in Asia: An Interim Report. Institute of Developing Economies, pp.65–97.

    Los Baños Times (2016), A Plastic Storyhttps://lbtimes.ph/2016/03/02/a-plastic-story/ (accessed 25 October 2019).

    Quezon City Council (2001), Ordinance No. SP-1203, S-2002. http://quezoncitycouncil.ph/ordinance/SP/sp-1203,%20s%202002-1.pdf (accessed 25 October 2019).

Action Plans and Roadmaps: The Philippines

 

The Philippines has drafted the National Strategy on Marine Litter, which shall be the basis for a subsequent Master Plan on Marine Plastics Management (The World Bank, 2019). So far, the nearest related action plan is Section 16 of RA No. 9003, which states: ‘Province, city or municipality, through its local solid waste management boards, shall prepare its respective 10-year solid waste management plans consistent with the National Solid Waste Management Framework’. The plan, which should substantially include all the components identified and mandated in RA No. 9003, shall be submitted for review and approval to the National Solid Waste Management Commission (DENR, 2015). An example of the proposed plan is the 10-year (2014–2024) solid waste management plan of the municipality of Rizal in Laguna Province.


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Cambodia

 

Several ministries are responsible for Cambodia’s waste management system (Table 1).

Table 1. Ministries Responsible for Waste Management in Cambodia

Ministry 

Authority 

Ministry of Environment  

Management of municipal solid waste, industrial waste, and hazardous waste  

Ministry of Health  

Medical waste management through the Department of Hospital Services and provincial departments of health 

Ministry of Industry and Handicraft  

Industrial waste management and clean production  

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries  

Waste disposal management, with the Ministry of Environment 

Ministry of Interior  

Decentralisation of waste management, in cooperation with the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development  

Source: PPCA et al. (2018).


References

National Laws and Regulations: Cambodia

 

Cambodia has three national legal frameworks for solid waste management:

Sub-decree No. 36 ANRK.BK on Solid Waste Management

The goal of the regulation is to protect human health and biodiversity (Curea, 2017) and to target two kinds of solid waste:

  1. Household waste. Public disposal of such waste is highly restricted unless done with permission from the authorities (Article 7). Household waste may be exported with approval from the relevant ministries. The import of waste is forbidden (Article 9 and 10).
  2. Hazardous waste. Disposing of such waste in public sites is prohibited (Article 15). It should be transported and disposed of separately from household waste. Exporting hazardous waste is allowed with the approval of the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Trade, and importing countries (Article 20). Importing hazardous waste is restricted (Article 21). Plastic waste from production processes is considered hazardous waste. 

Law on Environmental Protection and Natural Resource Management 1996

Prevention and reduction of environmental hazards, including from waste, are controlled by a Ministry of Environment sub-decree (Article 13).

Inter-Ministerial Declaration of Ministry of Interior-Ministry of Environment on Waste and Solid Waste Management in Province/Municipalities of Cambodia No. 80/2003

The declaration aims to establish efficient solid waste management in provinces and cities to protect health, the environment, and biodiversity (Article 1). The declaration covers all activities related to waste management, including collection, storage, transportation, recycling, and disposal. 


References

Local Regulations: Cambodia

 

Several regulations relate to solid waste management, especially in Phnom Penh (Singh, et al., 2018):

  1. Draft Strategy and Methodology for Improving Waste Management and Cleansing, Collection, and Transport of Solid Waste in Phnom Penh
  2. Notification on Waste Storage and Waste Discharge, and Penalties for Improper Waste Disposal in Phnom Penh Municipality No. 13 (2013)
  3. Instruction on Application of Penalties to Promote Environmental Sanitation in Phnom Penh Municipality No. 09 (2010)
  4. Instruction on Waste Separation in Phnom Penh Municipality No. 08 (2010)
  5. Instruction on Penalties on Waste Disposal in Public Areas No. 16 (2010)

References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Cambodia

 

The National Environment Strategy and Action Plan 2016–2023 supports activities related to solid waste management, such as separation, collection, transport, treatment, and disposal. Sanitary landfill is expected to help solve waste management issues. The action plan reinforces implementation of the reduce, reuse, recycle (3R) principle and volume-based waste collection fees, and encourages solid waste managers to modernize and integrate their operations.

Cambodia is formulating the National Waste Management Strategy Action Plan in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, United Nations Environment Programme, and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies to accelerate waste management across the country. The plan’s goal is to improve public health, social security, and cities’ environment by 2030. On plastic, the plan states: ‘To improve waste collection coverage in urban areas and minimize the amount of waste in landfills, segregation of organic and plastic waste at source for recycling will be promoted.

The Phnom Penh Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan 2018–2035 aims to create a reliable waste management system and coordinate the efforts of different actors, to minimise the environmental and health impacts frequently caused by improper waste management. The plan has six targets:

  1. efficient disposal, collection, and waste management service;
  2. advanced recycling through waste separation, engagement with private sector, and promotion of recycled products;
  3. efficient waste disposal management and better-quality livelihoods;
  4. sound management of special waste – medical, industrial, and electronic; and
  5. joint actions with stakeholders.

The first target requires a regulation on city-wide waste separation and behaviour change. The second target is crucial because it requires recycling of plastic.


References

National Laws and Regulations: Indonesia

 

Presidential Decree No. 83/2018 oversees marine debris management and originates from the Government of Indonesia’s initial target of reducing marine plastic waste by up to 70% by 2025. Comprehensive and integrated actions are needed to achieve this goal. The National Action Plan for Sea Waste Management for 2018–2025 aims to reduce the amount of waste, particularly plastic waste, in the ocean. The plan’s strategy consists of a national movement to increase awareness; encourage land- and sea-based waste management; reinforce funding, institutional, monitoring, and legal mechanisms; and promote research and development (Article 2). The institutional arrangement of the plan is described in Articles 3 to 9. 

Indonesia has several laws and regulations on waste management:

Act of the Republic of Indonesia No. 18/2008 Regarding Waste Management defines waste management as waste reduction and handling (Article 19), including by reducing, recycling, and reusing waste (Article 20). Waste can be separated, collected, transported, and processed (Article 22). 

Law No. 32/2009 on Environmental Protection and Management focuses on hazardous waste management, which covers waste reduction, storage, collection, transportation, utilisation, and treatment (Article 1) (Damanhuri, 2017). Discharging waste into the environment is allowed following standards and as permitted by the Minister (Article 20), while dumping without a permit is restricted (Article 60). Importation of waste or hazardous waste is strictly prohibited (Article 69).

Government Regulation No. 81/2012 on Household and Household-like Waste Management focuses on technical management of municipal solid waste, using the reduce, reuse, recycle (3R) principle (Damanhuri, 2017). Reducing the use of plastic bags is specifically mentioned (Article 11).

Regulation of the Minister of Public Works of Indonesia Number 03/PRT/M/2013 on Implementation of Infrastructure and Facilities in Handling Household Waste and Other Types of Household Waste calls for an integrated waste management plant (tempat pengolahan sampah terpadu) for dumping, sorting, recycling, processing, and final processing of waste (Article 1[16]), including plastic (Article 15[5]). 

Presidential Decree No. 97/2017 on the National Policy and Strategy on Household and Household-like Waste Management focuses on the reduction and handling of household and household-like waste (Article 3). The decree cites national policies and national, provincial, district, and municipal strategies.

Presidential Decree No. 58/2017 regarding Amendments to Presidential Decree No. 3/2016 on the Acceleration of the Implementation of the National Strategic Project includes waste-to-energy projects in Jakarta, Tangerang, Bandung, Semarang, Surakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, and Makassar in national strategic projects (Annex). 

Presidential Decree No. 35/2018 on the Acceleration of the Development of Waste-to-Energy Installations with Environmental-based Technology aims to create upstream-to-downstream integrated waste management to enhance public health and environmental quality, while drastically reducing the amount of waste through conversion of waste into energy (Article 2). Besides the eight regions mentioned in the previous presidential decree on waste-to-energy installations, this decree adds South Tangerang, Bekasi, Palembang, Manado (Article 3).


References

Local Regulations: Indonesia

 

Two regions in Indonesia implement regulations to reduce the use of single-use plastic.

Bali Province aims to cut the amount of plastic waste in oceans through Regulation of the Governor of Bali No. 97/2018 on Restrictions on the Generation of Disposable Plastic Waste. Targets are disposable plastics, i.e. plastic bags, styrofoam, and plastic straws (Article 4). The regulation calls for producers, distributors, suppliers, business enterprises, and providers of disposable plastics to switch to new replacement products (Articles 6 and 7). The regulation calls on individuals to do the same (Article 9) and on communities to stop using disposable plastic in their daily lives and perform preventive actions (Article 14). Administrative penalties will be imposed on those who break the regulation (Article 22 and 23). 

Bogor Municipality implements Regulation of Mayor of Bogor No. 61/2018 on the Reduction of the Use of Plastic Bags. All shopping centres and modern stores are strictly prohibited from providing plastic bags starting 1 December 2018 (Article 11) and must strive to provide alternatives to plastic bags. Everyone is obliged to reduce the use of plastic bags and strongly encouraged to speak out against plastic bags’ danger to the environment (Article 13).


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Indonesia

 

Presidential Decree No. 83/2018 on Marine Debris Management contains the National Action Plan for Marine Debris Management for 2018–2025, consisting of four key strategies (Table 1).

Table 1. Strategies and Targets of the National Action Plan for Marine Debris Management 2018–2025

Strategy 

Target (by 2025) 

National action to raise awareness of stakeholders 

  • Raising  awareness of the impacts of sea waste 

  • Implementation of environment-based education 

Land-based waste management 

  • Waste management in river catchment areas 

  • Plastic waste management in upstream areas of rivers 

  • Plastic waste management in downstream areas of rivers 

Sea-based waste management 

  • Waste management of plastic derived from sea-based transportation 

  • Waste management of plastic derived from marine tourism areas 

  • Waste management of plastic derived from marine and fishing activities 

  • Waste management of plastic derived from coastal and small-island activities 

Reinforcement of funding, institutional, monitoring, and legal mechanisms 

  • Diversification of funding schemes 

  • Institutional empowerment 

  • Improvement of monitoring  

Research and development 

  • Increase innovation in handling sea waste through research and development 

Source: Government of Indonesia (2018)


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: China

 

In general, solid waste management in China is supervised by several ministries (Table 1).

Table 1. Ministries and Their Roles in Solid Waste Management in China

Ministry 

Authority 

Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development  

Collection, transportation, treatment and/or discharge management of municipal solid waste 

Ministry of Ecology and Environment 

Industrial and hazardous waste management 

Ministry of Commerce  

Restoration and distribution supervision of recyclable waste materials 

National Development and Report Commission  

Process and application management of recyclable waste materials  

Ministry of Agriculture  

Agricultural waste management 

Source: Liu (2017).

Through the Marine Environment Protection Law of China 1999, the country employs several departments that specifically control marine environment protection (Table 2).

Table 2. Departments in Charge of Marine Environment Protection

Department 

Responsibility 

Department of Marine Ecology and Environment (under the Ministry of Ecology and Environment) 

Supervision of national marine environment protection and marine pollution control caused by land-based pollutants and coastal construction projects 

State Oceanic Administration (under the Ministry of Natural Resources) 

Supervision of marine environment; organisation of survey, surveillance, supervision, assessment, and scientific research of marine environment; national marine environment protection against pollution damage from construction projects and wastes dumped into the sea 

Maritime Safety Administration (under the Ministry of Transport) 

Management of marine environment pollution caused by non-military vessels and non-fishery vessels, investigation of pollution accidents 

The Bureau of Fisheries (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs) 

Supervision of marine environment pollution from non-military vessels and fishing vessels, ecological environment safeguards in the fishing zones, control of fishery pollution accidents 

The Chinese People’s Armed Police Force (under the Central Military Commission and the State Council) 

Management of marine pollution caused by military vessels, investigation of pollution accidents by military vessels 

Source: Government of China (2019).


References

National Laws and Regulations: China

 

China has multiple regulations regarding the marine environment:

Marine Environment Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China 1999

This law targets marine environment protection and conservation, pollution prevention, ecological and human health protection, and economic and social sustainability (Article 1). Each individual is obliged to protect the marine environment and uncover any activity that causes marine environment degradation (Article 4). Whoever disposes pollutants into the sea must pay penalty based on the national regulation (Article 11). Additionally, any occurrence that pollutes or could potentially pollute the marine environment must be effectively acted upon, and all parties that could possibly suffer from the incident be notified  (Article 17). Exploitation of natural resources in islands and the surrounding environment must employ strict ecological protection (Article 26).  In the chapter on marine environment damage caused by dumping waste, disposing wastes on China’s territory is highly restricted. Activities permitted to dump wastes into the sea must follow time limits and certain conditions and provide detailed records of the dumping activities (Article 59 and 60). Lastly, wastes generated from incineration are prohibited from being disposed into the sea (Article 61). 

Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on the Control Over Dumping Wastes into the Sea Waters 1985

This regulation, created to implement the Marine Environment Protection Law, aims to manage waste dumping into the sea, prevent pollution, achieve ecological balance, and protect marine resources (Article 1). Entities that want to dispose wastes into the sea are obliged to file an application form to the competent authority, containing information about characteristics and composition of their wastes  (Article 6). Wastes coming from other countries and intended for dumping in China are highly prohibited (Article 7). The competent authority must be notified before wastes generated from ships are allowed to enter China’s jurisdiction (Article 8). Foreign ships that intend to explore, exploit, or perform offshore activities must seek approval from the competent authority (Article 9). This regulation lists three categories of wastes. Plastic is prohibited from being dumped into the sea (Article 11). Several conditions, including time limit and provision of recording details, are imposed upon entities that are already permitted to dump wastes into the sea (Article 14). Those that do not follow the regulations and degrade the marine environment must restore the situation to its pre-damaged condition and pay penalties for damage to the environment and parties (Article 17). 

Regulations on the Prevention of Pollution Damage to the Marine Environment by Land-based Pollutants

The Marine Environment Protection Law aims to strengthen management and administration of land-based pollution and protect the marine environment from land-based pollution (Article 1). Entities that intend to dispose of land-based pollutants into the sea must follow regulations (Article 5) such as notifying and registering with the environmental protection department (Article 6). A fee is imposed on those who excessively dump land-based pollutants into the sea. The polluters must take charge of pollution control and elimination (Article 7). Discharging solid waste and harmful matters along seashores and beaches must first be approved (Article 11 and 13). Several conditions such as taking prompt measures and reporting to stakeholders must be met by any organisation or individual causing marine environment degradation (Article 22). Lastly, penalties are imposed on those who violate regulations (Article 24-31).

Besides implementing regulations on marine environment protection, China has adopted several laws closely related to waste management:

Cleaner Production Promotion Law 2002

The government shall enact legislation that promotes the use of waste products that can drive recycling activities (Article 9).

Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Wastes 2004

This law replaced the 1996 Law on Prevention of Environmental Pollution Caused by Solid Waste (The President of The People’s Republic of China, 1996). Aside from impeding environmental pollution from solid waste, the new law aims to enhance public health, ecological conditions, and sustainable development of the economy and society (Article 1). All units and individuals must be responsible for their own solid waste production by strategically collecting, storing, transporting, utilising, and disposing solid waste (Article 17). The State shall promote research on the manufacture of plastic-sheet covering and packages to foster recycling and create easily degradable commodities (Article 19). Lastly, the law strictly prohibits dumping waste in China’s territory and importing solid waste that cannot be used as raw material (Article 24 and 25).

Circular Economy Promotion Law 2008

This law defines the circular economy as activities that reduce, recycle, and recover products (Article 2). Enterprises must develop strategic management systems to cut resource consumption and waste generation to be able to raise the level of waste recycling and resource recovery (Article 9). Further, enterprises are responsible for recovering, reusing, and disposing of waste based on regulations (Article 15). The State is obliged to encourage citizens to use recycled products (Article 10) and establish buildings to facilitate waste collection and recycling (Article 41).

Environmental Protection Law 2014

This law amends the 1989 law (The President of The People’s Republic of China, 1989) and aims to protect the environment; manage pollution and public hazards; and maintain public health, ecological conditions, and economic and social sustainability (Article 1). Better protection is provided for the marine environment, involving different levels of authorities (Article 34). Issues of general solid waste management are explained in this regulation, where the State is responsible for promoting environment-friendly and recycled products to minimise waste (Article 35 and 36). On a smaller scale, local governments are urged to organise the sorting, separation, and recycling of municipal solid waste (Article 37), while the people are encouraged  to abide by environmental protection laws and regulations and actively support environmental protection measures  (Article 38). For pollution control, enterprises are exhorted to prioritise waste utilisation through waste disposal technologies to reduce pollutant generation (Article 40).  Enterprises are obliged to manage environmental pollution, including from waste (Article 41).

On 19 January 2020, the Government of China took huge steps to eliminate single use of plastic waste through a document that seeks to further strengthen the control of plastic pollution (NDRC, 2020; Waste360, 2020). China’s plastic demand is, by volume, the biggest in the world. As the global leader in polymer import market, especially polyethylene, China determines the global plastic business (Waste 360, 2020).

The document is a joint proposal of China’s National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (Waste360, 2020). In general, the document aims to prohibit production, sale, and use of certain types of plastic while encouraging degradable and recyclable plastic alternatives (Xinhua Net, 2020). The plastics in the banned category include the ultra-thin shopping bag (thickness less than 0.025 mm) and the polyethylene agricultural mulch (thickness less than 0.01 mm) (NDRC, 2020).

The regulation has three main objectives, divided into three phases: 2020, 2022, and 2025 (Table 1).

Table 1. Objectives and Followed Actions of China’s New Regulation to Control Plastic Pollution

Objectives

Target

Prohibition/restriction of production, sale, and use of some plastic products in certain areas

  • Ban of production and sale of disposable foam plastic tableware, disposable plastic cotton swabs, and production of daily chemical products that contain plastic microbeads
  • Prohibition of production, sale, and use of non-degradable plastic bags and disposable plastic tableware in some key cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu
  • Prohibition of disposable plastic straws provision in catering industry across the country

2020

Significant reduction of disposable plastic product consumption, promotion of alternative plastic products, and implementation of green logistics model

  • Expansion of implementation scope of ban of production, sale, and use of non-degradable plastic disposable plastic tableware from some key cities to all cities in the country
  • Prohibition of disposable plastic supplies in star-rated hotels across the country
  • Prohibition of use of disposable plastic packaging and woven bags as well as reduction of plastic tape use for delivery service in key cities in China

2022

Establishment of management system for production, circulation, consumption, recycling, and disposal of plastic products; generation of a multi-component co-governance system; and enhancement of development and application of alternative products

  • All cities in China are targeted to cut consumption in restaurants of single-use plastic items by 30%. 
  • All hotels and home-stay businesses in China must ban the provision of disposable plastic supplies
  • All cities in China must ban disposable plastic packaging and woven bags as well as reduce use of plastic tape for delivery service.

2025

Source: NDRC (2020), Waste360 (2020).

The following mechanisms will be applied to enforce plastic pollution control. First, multi-party cooperation in e-commerce takeaway platforms, sanitation section, recycling companies, and other relevant stakeholders will be promoted. Second, standardisation, centralisation, and industrialisation of plastic waste resource will be fostered to enhance the level of plastic waste utilisation. Third, actions will be performed to clean up plastic waste in rivers, lakes, harbours, and beaches as well as chemical plastic packaging in farmland (NDRC, 2020).

Besides changing the system, scientific and technical support will be strengthened regarding environmental risk of different types of plastics, pollution mechanism, monitoring, prevention and control technologies, and others.  Lastly, the regulation will be supported by all regions and relevant departments so that the objectives can be achieved in the given time (NDRC, 2020).


References

Local Regulations: China

 

Two regions in China have regulations on plastic waste reduction and solid waste management.

The Province of Jilin enacted on 1 January 2015 the Regulation on the Prohibition of Production, Sales, and Provision of Disposable Non-Degradable Plastic Shopping Bags and Plastic Tableware (UNEP, 2018). This regulation restricts the production and sale of non-degradable plastic shopping bags and plastic tableware (Article 1). The regulation asks relevant stakeholders to be responsible in improving recycling activities and facilities (Article 8).  It also requires shopping malls, shops, and markets’ organizers to monitor the implementation of the plastic ban (Article 9). Penalties are imposed on those who break the regulation (Article 11).

The City of Shanghai, which is the biggest industrial and commercial city in China with a high population density, has an experience in implementing environmental law (Lianghu et al., 2014). Since early 2019, Shanghai has adopted the Shanghai Domestic Waste Management Regulations, with waste separation as one of its main highlights. The regulation lists four categories of waste separation: recyclable wastes, harmful wastes, wet rubbish, and dry rubbish (Article 4). Several municipal departments are involved in enhancing municipal solid waste management practice and developing comprehensive cooperation mechanism (Article 5). Individuals are asked to actively support green living, waste reduction and separation, and domestic garbage management. Shanghai has a domestic garbage disposal fee system to set the prices for domestic waste disposal (Article 7). Government institutions, enterprises, and hotels are encouraged to use environment-friendly products and eliminate the use of disposable cups (Article 21 and 22). The regulation requires waste classification, collection, transportation, and disposal (Article 28, 29, & 30).


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: China

 

At the end of 2016, the State Council of China endorsed the Notice of the "13th Five-Year Plan" Ecological Environmental Protection Plan. The 13th plan has three main objectives: environmental quality enhancement, comprehensive management affirmation, and amendment of environmental issues acceleration (China Water Risk, 2016). The third chapter of the plan, which focuses on green development, includes issues related to recycling, such as China’s promotion of pilot projects on recycling industrial waste materials, including plastics, to encourage the circular economy. New recycling mechanisms such as internet + recycling and smart recycling are also encouraged to broaden producers’ responsibility. The plan expects utilisation of industrial waste by up to 73% by 2020. This movement goes hand in hand with the country’s mission to support green technology, where recycling and utilisation of wastes are greatly strengthened. For general waste treatment, discussed in Chapter V, acceleration and improvement of discharge facilities play a fundamental role in enlarging waste treatment coverage in urban and rural areas. This can be done by advancing landfill treatment, fly ash disposal procedure, and methane utilisation. Incineration is targeted to be increased up to 40% by 2020. The sixth chapter of the plan discusses reduction of environmental risks, including hazardous waste. By 2020, more efforts will be employed to deal with the production, storage, utilisation, and disposal of hazardous waste. Finally, chapter 7 highlights the 25 priorities of national environmental protection projects. Governance of rural waste management is included as a priority project, covering waste utilisation and improvement of waste treatment facilities. 


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Viet Nam

 

Several ministries are involved in waste management (Table 1).

Table 1. Ministries Responsible for Waste Management in Viet Nam

Ministry 

Authority 

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment  

Direction of waste and hazardous waste management 

Ministry of Construction  

Establishment of master plans and guidelines for waste treatment facilities, and management of waste from construction and demolition  

Ministry of Agriculture and Development  

Management of agricultural and rural waste 

Ministry of Health  

Management of solid waste from hospitals and other medical establishments 

Ministry of Industry and Trade  

Industrial waste management and development of environment-friendly industry 

Source: Thang (2017).

The Viet Nam Environment Administration (VEA) works directly under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on national environment-related matters. Under VEA, the Waste Management and Environment Promotion Agency authorizes state waste management (Thang, 2017).


References

National Laws and Regulations: Viet Nam

 

Viet Nam has several national legal frameworks on marine pollution and waste management:

Law on Environmental Protection No. 55/2014/QH13

Any land- or sea-based waste must be reported, evaluated, and measured to keep the amount below the limit of technical regulations (Article 50). Certain waste such as oil, fat, drilling fluids, ballast water, chemicals, and other hazardous substances must be collected, stored, transported, and discharged according to the law on waste management. Only specific waste may be discharged into marine areas and only with permission from regulatory agencies (Article 50). Preventive actions to combat marine waste should be integrated with international agreements that Viet Nam has signed. Any activity that might be detrimental to the sea must have plans and resources to prevent environmental emergencies and to report them to the authorities (Article 51). Stakeholders – from ministries to provincial people’s committees – must give prior notification, take responsive action, and perform restorative action in case of any marine environmental emergency. The Law on Environmental Protection No. 55/2014/QH13 has been revised to more clearly delineate ministries’ roles in waste management (Thang, 2017).

Law No. 82/2015/QH13 on Marine and Island Resources and Environment

Throwing waste on islands and sandbanks and in shallow zones is restricted (Article 41). Five actions are taken to manage marine and island environmental pollution: (i) performing preventive actions, (ii) setting sea areas as pollution-prone zones to implement effective solutions, (iii) controlling land- and sea-based waste by considering the capacity of the sea and islands, (iv) responding to and preventing the spread of pollution during environmental marine emergencies, and (v) cooperating with stakeholders to manage marine and island environmental pollution (Article 42). Hazardous waste must be managed based on the law on environmental protection (Article 45). Before it is disposed of in the sea, land-based waste from production, business, or daily-life activities must be controlled according to environmental technical regulations (Article 46). Potential sources of sea pollution should be rigorously managed. Regarding dumping waste into the sea, the regulation specifies the license that should be obtained, the allowed materials, the permits, the rights of parties that have obtained the permits, and management of dumping (Section 3, Chapter IV).

The Construction Law No. 50/2014/QH13

Solid waste collection and treatment facilities are categorized as technical infrastructure (Article 3, number 22). The Ministry of Construction is authorized to create technical regulation guidelines for specialized construction works (Article 6, number 6).

The Law No. 14/2010/L-CTN on Environmental Protection Tax

Plastic bags are categorized as taxable objects (Article 3) and subject to an environmental tax of VND30,000–50,000/kg (Article 5).

Decree No. 38/2015/ND-CP on the Management of Wastes and Scraps

Plastic is considered reusable and recyclable waste (Article 15.) All recyclable waste shall be recycled and reused (Article 50). Importers of plastic scrap must pay a deposit, the amount of which depends on the volume of the scrap: 15% of total cost for scrap under 100 tons, up to 20% for scrap over 500 tons.


References

Local Regulations: Viet Nam

 

In 2013, the People’s Committee of Hanoi City issued Regulations on Regular Solid Waste Management in Hanoi City Area No. 16/2013/QD-UBND. Solid waste management aims to reduce environmental and health impacts (Article 3). The Department of Construction and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment under the City People’s Committee are responsible for solid waste management. Dumping solid waste on sidewalks and roads and into drainage systems, rivers, lakes, parks, flower gardens, dike systems, and public areas is highly restricted. As inorganic daily-life solid waste, plastics should be collected, transported in a specific approved vehicle, and treated properly (Article 11).

Similar regulations were issued by other local governments.


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Viet Nam

 

In 2009, Viet Nam adopted the National Strategy on Integrated Solid Waste Management to 2025, with a Vision to 2050. Its main objective is to collect, reuse, recycle, and manage waste using progressive technology and to minimize the use of landfills by 2050. Table below summarizes the strategy’s targets.

Table 1. Targets of the National Strategy on Integrated Solid Waste Management to 2025, with a Vision to 2050

Objective 

By 2020 

By 2025 

Collection rate of household waste  

90% 

100% 

Recycling rate of household waste 

85% 

90% 

Collection rate of construction and demolition waste in urban areas 

80% 

90% 

Recycling rate of construction and demolition waste in urban areas 

30% 

60% 

Reduction rate of plastic bag use in supermarkets 

65% 

85% 

Implementation rate of waste separation and recycling facilities at the municipal level 

80% 

100% 

Collection rate of non-hazardous industrial waste 

90% 

100% 

Reuse and recycling rate of non-hazardous industrial waste 

75% 

100% 

Collection rate of solid waste from households in rural areas 

70% 

90% 

Collection rate of solid waste from craft villages  

80% 

100% 

Source: Government of Viet Nam (2009)

Adopted in 2012, the National Strategy on Environment Protection to 2020 with Visions to 2030 targets establishing critical conditions for a green economy and lowering the amount of waste by 2030.  In the same year, Viet Nam adopted the National Green Growth Strategy for the period 2011–2020 with a Vision to 2050, which focuses on green growth development. The strategy aims to increase the rate of waste collection and treatment by 2020.

To support the implementation of the National Strategy on Integrated Solid Waste Management to 2025, with a Vision to 2050, the Government of Viet Nam launched in December 2019 the National Action Plan on Marine Plastic Debris Management through 2030. The plan’s objectives are divided into two main periods (Table 2).

Table 2. Objectives of the National Action Plan on Marine Plastic Debris Management through 2030

Objective

By 2025

By 2030

Plastic waste reduction in the sea and the ocean

50%

75%

Collection of lost or discarded fishing gear

80%

100%

Removal of single-use plastic products in coastal tourist destinations, accommodations, and services

80%

100%

National campaign to collect waste and clean up beaches

Twice a year

Twice a year

Removal of plastic waste in marine protected areas

80%

100%

Coverage expansion of annual monitoring and periodical monitoring of marine plastic debris

Conducted in 5 main rivers

Conducted in 11 main rivers

Source: Government of Viet Nam (2019).

The objectives above are broken down into three major solutions (Table 3).

Table 3. Solutions of the National Action Plan’s Objectives

Solutions

Tasks

Parties in charge

Awareness raising and behavioural change

  • Development of communication programmes about the negative impacts of single-use plastic products;
  • Rewarding parties that provide good examples to reduce plastic waste;
  • Training to promote the habit of using less single-use plastic products;
  • Promotion of communication with relevant parties to encourage reuse, recycling, and circular economy.
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment;
  • Ministry of Information and Communications;
  • The Voice of Viet Nam;
  • Viet Nam television;
  • Central and local press agencies;
  • People’s committees of centrally administered coastal provinces and cities.

Collection, separation, storage, transportation, and disposal of plastic waste

  • Organisation of campaigns and movements to collect and clean up wastes in beaches;
  • Mobilisation of people to strengthen the stock-taking of marine plastic debris based on a national database on waste sources;
  • Provision of facilities and support for parties that conduct efforts to reduce marine plastic debris.
  • People’s committees of centrally administered coastal provinces and cities;
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment;
  • Other relevant stakeholders.

Plastic waste control from source

  • Establishment of integrated survey, inventory-taking, separation assessment of land-based marine plastic debris;
  • Examination of regulations on plastic waste collection and treatment;
  • Prevention of disposal and loss of fishing gear as well as implementation of penalty tools for violators of regulations.
  • Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism;
  • Ministry of Transport;
  • Ministry of Industry and Trade;
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment;
  • Other relevant stakeholders.

International cooperation in research, application, development, and technology transfer of marine plastic debris treatment

  • Participation in international communities, such as ASEAN and East Asian Seas countries in tackling marine plastic debris issue;
  • Cooperation with international organisations on issues related to marine plastic debris;
  • Provision of technical support and investment to reduce marine plastic debris;
  • Promotion of research and development on marine plastic debris treatment and technologies;
  • Operation of the International Centre for Marine Plastic Debris and management of marine plastic debris database;
  • Development of research projects as scientific and practical foundations on marine plastic debris;
  • Establishment of remote sensing system to control marine plastic debris.
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment;
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • People’s committees of centrally administered coastal provinces and cities;
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
  • Ministry of Transport;
  • Other relevant stakeholders.

Source: Government of Viet Nam (2019).


References

International Agreement: The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

 

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) is the key international agreement to prevent marine environment pollution caused by ships’ operational and unintended activities (IMO, 2019). Although adopted in 1973, this Convention was not enforced until the Protocol was formulated in 1978 as a result of a series of ships accidents in 1976–1977. Both frameworks were combined and implemented starting 1983. The MARPOL Convention consists of the following:  

  • Annex I Regulation for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil
  • Annex II Regulations for the Control of Pollution by Noxious Liquid Substance in Bulk
  • Annex III Prevention of Pollution by Harmful Substances Carried by Sea in Packaged Form 
  • Annex IV Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships
  • Annex V Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships
  • Annex VI Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships  

Annex V,  enforced since 31 December 1988, specifically addresses the issue of plastic dumping from ships: ‘The disposal into the sea of all plastics, including but not limited to synthetic ropes, synthetic fishing nets, plastic garbage bags and incinerator ashes from plastic products which may contain toxic or heavy metal residues, is prohibited’. 

Besides prohibition of plastic waste disposal, Regulation 3 number 2 of the Convention also calls for stricter regulations on mixed garbage discharge.  

Under Annex V, special areas have priority of protection due to their oceanographical and ecological status: Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Read Sea, the Gulfs area, North Sea, Antarctic Sea, and the Wider Caribbean Region. Regulation 9 requires ships with a certain load to have a waste management plan that covers waste collection, storage, process, and disposal. The ships must also provide a garbage record book to record discharge operations and incineration along with their schedules. 

Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Viet Nam have ratified Annex V. Table 1 shows the status of ASEAN+3 countries regarding MARPOL Annex V. 

Table 1. Status of ASEAN+3 Countries on MARPOL Annex V 

Country 

Date of deposit of acceptance 

Date of entry into force or succession 

Brunei Darussalam (acceptance) 

25 April 2016

25 July 2016

Cambodia 

28 November 1994

28 February 1995

China 

21 November 1988

21 February 1989

Indonesia 

24 August 2012 

24 November 2012 

Japan 

09 June 1983

31 December 1988

Lao PDR 

-  

-  

Malaysia 

31 January 1997

01 May 1997

Myanmar 

05 April 2016

05 July 2016

Republic of Korea 

28 February 1996

28 May 1996

Singapore 

27 May 1999

27 August 1999

Thailand 

 - 

 - 

The Philippines 

15 June 2001

15 September 2001

Viet Nam 

19 December 2014

19 March 2015

Source: IMO (2019)

MARPOL Annex V has 12 amendments:  

MEPC.36(28) 

Approved on 18 February 1991, this amendment recognises the North Sea as a special area of protection.  

MEPC.42(30) 

Approved on 17 March 1992, this amendment designates the Antarctic Sea as a special area of protection.

MEPC.48(31) 

Approved on 01 April 1993, this amendment designates the Wider Caribbean as a special area for protection. 

Conference Resolution 1-3 

Approved on 03 March 1996, this amendment focuses on governance of port state for practical requirement.   

MEPC.65(37) 

Approved on 01 July 1997, this amendment includes regulations about placards, garbage management plans, and garbage record-keeping, where every ship must have notification about disposal requirements, conduct a comprehensive garbage plan, and provide a garbage record book. 

MEPC.89(45) 

Approved on 01 March 2002, this amendment further defines terms of ‘nearest land’, which is closely related with territorial sea. It also includes categories of plastic and types of garbage that cannot be disposed into the sea.  

MEPC.116(51) 

Approved on 01 August 2005 (IMO, 2019), this amendment includes additional information about garbage category and notes for garbage disposal recording process.  

MEPC.201(62) 

Approved on 01 January 2013, this amendment compiles previously amended regulations.

MEPC.216(63) 

Approved on 01 August 2013 (IMO, 2019), this amendment contains requirements of regional arrangements for visiting ships.

MEPC.246(66) 

Approved on 01 January 2016 (IMO, 2019), this amendment provides a chapter on verification of compliance, comprising audit processes for Annex implementation. 

MEPC.265(68) 

Approved on 01 January 2017, this amendment includes a chapter on sailing ships in polar waters, and explains the polar code used for sailing ships in polar waters along with environment-related requirements.  

MEPC.277(70) 

Approved on 01 March 2018, this amendment contains instructions for cargo disposal management where cargo, harmful or not, is discharged at a determined distance to protect the environment. Information on the recording process for cargo disposal and incineration is added to this amendment. A new appendix is formulated, explaining criteria for solid bulk cargoes and garbage record book form. 


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Japan

 

Based on the Act on Promoting the Treatment of Marine Debris Affecting the Conservation of Good Coastal Landscapes and Environments to Protect Natural Beauty and Variety 2009, coordination in Japan was developed in the form of a council for promotion of measures against marine litter. Table 1 lists the ministries and agencies under the council and their responsibilities.

Table 1. Ministries and Agencies Under the Council and Their Responsibilities

Ministry and Agency 

Responsibility 

Ministry of the Environment 

Act as the Secretariat of the council, manage council affairs 

Assume main responsibility on marine litter and waste management 

Comprehensively and effectively formulate basic policy to promote measures against marine debris  

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 

Manage fishery-based litter 

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism 

Manage riverside, port, and sea route litter 

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry 

Manage industrial activities related to industry-based litter 

Japan Meteorological Agency 

Conduct research on marine plastic debris 

Japan Coast Guard 

Raise awareness on marine environment conservation 

Source: Government of Japan (2009); Ministry of the Environment (2018).

Article 12 states that coordination shall also be enhanced within local governments, business entities, the public, and private organisations, not only in coastal areas but also in all regions. The coordination mechanism is based on the basic policy formulated by the national government.

On 31 May 2019, Japan reinforced its commitment to lead global collaboration through the Ministerial Council on Marine Plastic Litter. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that Japan will exercise leadership in resolving the marine plastic litter issue (Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet, 2019). ‘We intend to lead worldwide efforts strongly by fully utilising our experiences and technologies in our efforts to contribute to the world, such as extending support to capacity building of developing countries, and to understand the actual situation both domestically and globally,’ said Prime Minister Abe in a speech. The Prime Minister mandated the relevant ministries to work on this issue thoroughly, following the approved action plan.

 


References

National Laws and Regulations: Japan

 

Japan has several laws and regulations on tackling marine plastic debris.

The Basic Environmental Law (Law No. 91 of 1993) includes the responsibility of corporations to dispose of waste. Article 8(2) states: ‘In manufacturing, processing or selling products, or engaging in other business activities, corporations are responsible for taking necessary measures for ensuring proper disposal of the wastes generated from products and other goods related to their activities, so as to prevent interference with environmental conservation, pursuant to the basic principles.’ In support of this, the national government shall facilitate such efforts. Article 23(2) states: ‘The State shall take necessary measures to promote projects which contribute to prevent interference with environmental conservation, i.e. the construction of public facilities such as sewerage, public waste disposal facilities, traffic facilities (including transportation facilities) which contribute to reduce the environmental load, and other projects such as improvement of forests.’

The Basic Act on Ocean Policy (Act No. 33 of 27 April 2007) emphasises the formulation of the Basic Plan on Ocean Policy. A responsibility of the national government, the Basic Plan on Ocean Policy shall prescribe the basic policy of measures and the measures that the government shall comprehensively and systematically implement with regard to the oceans (Article 16). The Basic Plan on Ocean Policy shall also adopt the principle of marine conservation, including securing ocean biodiversity by preventing the discharge of waste into the ocean (Article 18).

The Act on Promoting the Treatment of Marine Debris Affecting the Conservation of Good Coastal Landscapes and Environments to Protect Natural Beauty and Variety (Act No. 82 of 15 July 2009) sets the basic principles for measures required for the smooth treatment of marine debris and control of its generation. Article 17 states that any coast manager or possessor of coastal land that is not a coast manager must take measures required for the treatment of marine debris in maintaining the cleanliness of coastal land under their management. The measures must involve the cooperation of the prefectural government in terms of technical advice and other support, and of the municipal government as necessary.

Japan imposes several laws and regulations that apply the concept of reduce, reuse, and recycle (3Rs) and extended producer responsibility (EPR). Table 1 summarises the measures related to 3Rs and EPR in each law and regulation.

Table 1. Laws and Regulations Related to 3Rs and EPR

Law and Regulation 

Measure 

Act on the Promotion of Effective Utilisation of Resources (Act No. 48 of 26 April 1991) 

Establishment of standards for labelling specified labelled products such as steel cans, aluminium cans, PET bottles, paper containers and packaging, plastic containers and packaging, compact rechargeable batteries, and PVC construction materials. Labelling shall further facilitate sorted collection.  

Act on the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging (Act No. 112 of 16 June 1995) 

Business operators and consumers shall rationalise use of containers and packaging by using recyclable containers and packaging and reducing the excessive use of containers and packaging. They shall also promote the sorted collection of waste containers and packaging as well as recycling that conform to the standards. The national government shall fund, collect, and conduct research and development and public campaigns through education and relevant activities. The local government is responsible for carrying out sorted collection of waste containers and packaging in each area of municipal government, providing technical assistance (by prefectural government, for municipal government), and promoting the reduction of waste containers and packaging. 

Act on Recycling of Specified Home Appliances (Act No. 97 of 5 June 1998) 

Retailers and manufacturers shall be responsible for collecting and recycling home appliances such as air conditioners, CRT-type televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, freezers (added in 2004), flat-screen televisions (added in 2009), and clothes dryers (added in 2009). 

The Basic Act for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society (Act No. 110 of 2000)

Establishment of a recycling-based society to realise a society that can develop sustainably as it develops a sound economy with a minimised environmental load, through voluntary and proactive actions based on technological and economic potential. 

Act on Recycling, etc. of End-of-Life Vehicles (Act No. 87 of 12 July 2002) 

Vehicle manufacturers must promote long-term use of vehicles, facilitate recycling, among others, of end-of-life vehicles, and reduce the expenses required to recycle, among others, end-of-life vehicles. 

Act on Promotion of Recycling of Small Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Act No. 57 of 10 August 2012) 

Recycling of small electrical and electronic equipment, (excluding home appliances specified in the Act on Recycling of Specified Home Appliances (Act No. 97 of 1998) whose use has been terminated. 

Source: Government of Japan (1991, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2012).


References

Local Regulations: Japan

 

Japan has 47 prefectures and 1,724 municipalities (Kimura, 2019). The Act on Promoting the Treatment of Marine Debris Affecting the Conservation of Good Coastal Landscapes and Environments to Protect Natural Beauty and Variety (Act No. 82 of 15 July 2009) mandates prefectural governments to formulate regional plans to manage marine debris. The preparation of the regional plan shall consider opinions from residents, relevant local governments, coast managers, and other interested parties. A council for the promotion of measures against marine debris should be established to undertake this mandate and carry out administrative works. The council consists of prefectures, residents, private organisations, relevant administrative agencies, and local governments.

Local governments implement some good practises such as Plastic Smart Campaign, Resource Circulation Strategy for Plastics, and Clean Ocean Material Alliance (Ministry of the Environment, 2019). Through the Plastic Smart Campaign, citizens are encouraged to use plastic wisely. The Resource Circulation Strategy for Plastics was initiated in May 2019 to comprehensively promote plastic resource circulation.


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Japan

 

Japan formulated the National Action Plan for Marine Plastic Litter in May 2019. Focusing on the efforts to prevent outflow of plastic litter to the ocean, this action plan elaborates effective measures in eight fields. 

  1. Waste-processing system that ensures proper collection and disposal 
  2. Prevention of littering, illegal dumping, and unintentional spilling of waste into the oceans 
  3. Collection of scattered waste on land 
  4. Collection of plastic litter in the oceans 
  5. Innovation in development of and conversion to alternative materials 
  6. Cooperation with stakeholders 
  7. International cooperation for promoting measures in developing countries 
  8. Consideration on actual situations and accumulation of scientific knowledge 

Japan has developed the Resource Circulation Strategy for Plastics. The strategy has set milestones based on the concept of 3Rs+Renewable and divided into three major efforts: reduce single-use plastic, reuse or recycle plastic, and use recycled material or biomass plastic. Table 1 lists these milestones. 

Table 1. Milestones Towards Resource Circulation Strategy for Plastics 

Effort 

Milestone 

Year (by) 

Reduce single-use plastic 

Cumulative 25% reduction in single-use plastics 

2030 

Reuse or recycle plastic 

Reusable/recyclable design for all containers and packaging/products 

2025 

60% rate of recycling for containers and packaging 

2030 

100% effective utilisation of used plastics, including circular economy measures 

2035 

Use recycled materials or biomass plastic 

Doubled use of recycled materials 

2030 

Maximum introduction (about 2 million tonnes) of biomass plastics 

2030 

Source: Teraishi (2019)

Japan is aiming for zero emission of marine plastics by promoting beautification and cleaning activities, curbing outflow of microplastics, collecting marine debris, and preventing illegal dumping (Teraishi, 2019). Raising public awareness to realise a sound material-cycle society is essential to ensure that efforts will be successfully adopted.  


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Myanmar

 

Several ministries oversee solid waste management in Myanmar (Table 1).

Table 1. Ministries in Charge of Solid Waste Management in Myanmar

Ministry 

Responsibility 

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation 

Formulation of a legal framework, financial mechanism, and practical monitoring system on national waste management 

Ministry of Industry 

Management of state-owned industries, industrial zones and economic zones, and coordination of private industries to prevent pollution and degradation of natural environment that are rooted from industrial waste  

Ministry of Health 

Management of health-care waste generation; separation, coding, storage, transportation, handling, disposal of residues; furtherance of occupational health and safety and community awareness  

Source: Premakumara et al. (2017); Ministry of Health the Republic of Union of Myanmar (2014).

Solid waste management in Myanmar is a prime responsibility of the City Development Committee through its Department of Pollution Control and Cleansing, which is in charge of managing household, industrial, medical, and hazardous wastes. Its other departments, such as Playground and Garden, City Planning, Inspection and Agriculture, plan and implement waste management (ECD and MONREC, 2017). Cities that have similar committee are Mandalay, Yangon, and Nay Pyi Taw (Premakumara et al., 2017).


References

National Laws and Regulations: Myanmar

 

Myanmar enacted its first environmental policy in 1999 to integrate environmental governance and national economic development programme (UNDP, 2016). As new environmental challenges arise, Myanmar is formulating a new national environmental policy called the National Environmental Policy of Myanmar to reinforce three principles: clean and healthy environment, sustainable development, and environmental protection and management. In the first principle, a zero-waste approach will be applied. Waste will be minimised from the source since it is more cost effective than recovery action. Entities will be compelled to promote clean production. 

Besides its national environmental policy, Myanmar has other regulations closely related with marine environment and solid waste management. 

1. The Environmental Conservation Law No. 9/2012 

This law mandates the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry with guidance from the Environmental Conservation Committee to arrange comprehensive monitoring system and coordination across stakeholders on several matters, including waste disposal and sanitation works (Article 13). Business entities that drive pollution must use facilities to control environmental pollution or, if they cannot manage it, dispose of their wastes through environmentally sound mechanisms (Article 15). It is mandatory for industries to manage wastes through environment-based schemes (Article 16). Authorities are obliged to conserve, manage, and enhance regional cooperation with regard to natural resources, including the marine environment (Article 18) (Assembly of the Union, 2012).  

2. Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure 2015 

The Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry shall determine waste management practices, encompassing limit of types, categories, and amount of waste, method and system of waste collection, storage, handling, transport, treatment, and disposal, and recycling or reuse of waste (Article 89) (Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, 2015).  


References

Local Regulations: Myanmar

 

Local governments in Myanmar have no specific regulations addressing marine environment or solid waste management. However, the city of Mandalay has conducted public campaigns and environmental education to foster the implementation of the reduce, reuse, recycle (3R) scheme. Through the Mandalay City Development Committee, the city has banned, since 2009, the production, trading, and utilisation of thin plastic bags. The committee has promoted alternative products, such as string bags and boxes and baskets made of leaves, to counteract the excessive use of plastic (Premakumara et al., 2017

In the city of Yangon, the Clean Yangon Campaign group manages the campaign to raise awareness of plastic’s environmental impacts. Besides raising awareness of environmental degradation, the campaign focuses on fostering recycling plastic products to reduce waste. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to create Clean Yangon. This movement somehow has become a trendsetter as other movements, such as Clean Pyinmana, Clean Aunglan, and Clean Mandalay, have started to grow. Similar collective movements are expected to eventually create Clean Myanmar (Aung, 2018).  

In another case, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute, and Thant Myanmar have conducted training series on plastic reduction, targeting the cities of Bagan, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw, the three major tourism destinations in Myanmar. The training is to create awareness of plastic pollution, support practical solutions, and investigate challenges in plastic management to achieve sustainability. This action is rooted in the fact that Myanmar has a huge amount of wastes, exacerbated by poor waste management systems, leading to pollution of waterways and death of birds and marine species. Forty-five hotels have committed to this action (Mizzima, 2018).  


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Myanmar

 

In 2017, Myanmar issued the National Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan for Myanmar (2017–2030). Table 1 shows the strategic goals and action of this plan.

Table 1. Goals of the National Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan for Myanmar

No.  

Goal and Target 

Duration 

Achievement Target 

  1.  

Advance waste collection management and eradicate practice of uncontrolled dumping and waste burning 

 

  • Attain sound waste collection by all citizens 

8–12 years 

100% 

 

  • Eradicate practice of uncontrolled dumping and burning in cities and authorise the use of environmentally sound disposal facilities in all cities  

8–12 years 

100% 

  1.  

Promote sustainable waste management of industrial and hazardous waste  

 

  • Authorise waste collection and sound hazardous waste treatment in all cities  

8–12 years 

100% 

 

  • Authorise sound and environment-based industrial waste treatment in all cities 

8–12 years 

100% 

  1.  

Reduce waste by applying the 3R principles and establishing a resource circular society 

 

  • Authorise city waste management strategies and action plan for waste reduction  

8–12 years 

80% 

 

  • Authorise food waste switch from landfills  

8–12 years 

60% 

 

  • Authorise waste separation and waste recycling for industrial, medical, and other wastes 

8–12 years 

60% 

  1.  

Secure sustainable financing scheme 

 

  • Perform full cost accounting for waste services in all cities 

8–12 years 

100% 

 

  • Establish cost-reflective tariffs for waste management services in all cities 

8–12 years 

100% 

  1.  

Raise awareness, provide assistance, and build capacity  

 

  • Improve implementation of standard awareness-raising programmes in cities  

8–12 years 

100% 

 

  • Reinforce implementation of environmental education programmes in schools  

8–12 years 

100% 

  1.  

Encourage fulfilment, control, enforcement, and recognition 

 

  • Establish benchmark performance indicators within the city’s development committee 

8–12 years 

100% 

 

  • Alleviate successful enforcement actions field  

8–12 years 

100% 

 

  • Reduce number of non-compliant entities 

 

 

Source: ECD and MONREC (2017).


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Lao PDR

 

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE, established in 2011) are responsible for solid waste management in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). Although with less authority over solid waste issues than MPWT, MoNRE has become a bridge for international activities in the solid waste sector in the country (Global Green Growth Institute, 2018). Other ministries that manage solid waste are the Ministry of Public Health, for medical waste management; the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, for regulations on composting from the agricultural sector; the Ministry of Communications, Transport, Posts, and Construction (MCTPC); and the Ministry of Energy and Mines, which does not have specific role in solid waste management at present but is expected to play a vital role in transforming waste into energy (Global Green Growth Institute, 2018Khanal & Souksavath, n.d.).  

Lao PDR established the Science, Technology, and Environment Organization (STENO) after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Based on Lao PDR’s environment protection law, STENO will manage solid waste at the national level, and environmental management and monitoring at the ministerial, provincial, special zone, municipal, district, and village levels. At the provincial level, the Department of Communications, Transports, Posts, and Construction, which works under MCPTC, manages solid waste with STENO (Khanal and Souksavath, n.d.). 


References

National Laws and Regulations: Lao PDR

 

As the waste management issue has only recently surfaced in Lao PDR, the country does not yet have regulations on general waste management (MoNRE, 2012). However, Lao PDR has several legal frameworks related to solid waste management: 

1. Environmental Protection Law No. 29/NA 2013 

Enacted in 2012 as a revised version of the Environmental Protection law No. 02-99/NA 1999, this law requires individuals or organisations that potentially emit pollutants to take measures to prevent environmental degradation caused by several materials, including waste (Article 25). The separation of general waste should be based on recycling, reuse, reprocessing, and elimination. Treatment of toxic and hazardous waste encompasses dumping, burning, cremation, burying, or elimination (Article 38). The law restricts importation of toxic and hazardous waste. Specific regulations apply to business enterprises and hospitals that produce hazardous waste (Article 39).

2. Industrial Waste Discharge Regulation No. 180/MIH 1994 

This regulation aims to manage threats from the disposal of industrial waste or wastewater that can detrimentally impact water quality, health, and human life (Article 1). Any solid materials, including plastic bags, are prohibited from being disposed of into the  environment and public water sources (Article 3 number 3.3). Additionally, industries treating their waste should follow the standard set by the regulation (Article 8).

3. Law on Industrial Processing No. 10/PO 1999 

Wastes from manufacturing must be discharged based on methods and locations set by regulations (Article 19).

4. Decree on Waste Management for Healthcare Facilities (No. 1706/MOH, 2/7/2004) 

This regulates several actions related to waste from healthcare facilities, such as the mechanism of waste separation (Article 8), collection and storage (Article 9), management and internal relocation (Article 10), and collective storage and length of time (Article 12 and 13) (Sato et al., 2018). 


References

Local Regulations: Lao PDR

 

At the local level, campaigns are the dominant mode in reducing plastic waste. In 2016, The Asia Foundation launched the ‘Love Laos: Keep it Clean’ campaign that aims to inspire people to stop littering and encourage recycling and composting. Several cities are targets of this movement,  including Bolikhamxay, Luang Prabang, and Khammouane. The campaign was started by establishing waste management projects in several schools and communities. The projects included financial opportunities and education on subjects like selling materials for recycling and using organic material for fertiliser in vegetable gardens. A short movie competition was held in 2016 to raise awareness on waste, littering, and improper waste discharge. All these are expected to lead to more sustainable habits (Handerson, 2017). 

The Faculty of Environmental Science at the National University of Laos, the Hanoi University of Sciences, and other organisations collaborated in ‘SEA Plastic Edu Rasmus+ Project’, a project to minimise plastic use and enhance the quality of environment. Targeting government officials, the private sector, teachers, and students, the project consists of training on plastic recycling and plastic exchange management, lessons on characteristics and use of plastic waste, ways of managing waste, and recycling and examination of different types of plastic waste (Bubphanouvong, 2019).  

The city of Luang Prabang, a tourist destination, conducts campaigns, through its tourism industry, to reduce the massive number of plastic water bottles. Hotels, tour operators, restaurants, cafes, and museums provide refill stations for free or cheaper drinking water. Several businesses have started to ban plastic bottles through the Refill Not Landfill activity. Some businesses have been asked to switch from plastic to non-plastic reusable bottles to involve tourists in efforts to reduce plastic waste (The Laotian Times, 2018).  


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Lao PDR

 

MoNRE (2012) set the National Environmental Strategy to 2020 and the Environment Action Plan 2006–2010 to focus on seven programmes. However, none specifically targets waste management. The National Pollution Control Strategy and Action Plan 2018–2015 with Vision to 2030, however, covers several environmental issues, including solid waste management. The overall targets of solid waste management in this action plan consist of development of policies and recommendations for industries that could potentially endanger the environment, local institutional reinforcement at provincial and local levels, capacity and infrastructure improvement for strategic solid waste management, and revenue generation from recycling and recovery facilities (MoNRE, 2017).

Besides an environment-based action plan, waste management is discussed in the Renewable Energy Strategy to 2025, in which the waste-to-energy sector is a main concern as Lao PDR faces long-term higher demand for renewable energy. Renewable energy is expected to contribute up to 30% of Lao PDR’s energy sources by 2025 (MoNRE, 2012).


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Republic of Korea

 

Two ministries are in charge of managing marine debris in the Republic of Korea: the Ministry of Environment, responsible for overseeing management of rivers and estuaries and in charge of preventing waste from entering the sea by collecting and managing waste in collaboration with other stakeholders (Chang, 2017), and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, in charge of promoting maritime safety and security and maritime environment prevention, management, and cooperation; and overseeing marine litter policies and management of sustainable fishery resources (Kim, 2019; World Bank Group and Korea Green Growth Trust Fund, 2019). The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs are also involved in managing marine litter (Kim, 2009).


References

National Laws and Regulations: Republic of Korea

 

Korea’s Marine Environment Management Act, amended in June 2015, obliges any person conducting an activity or a business that could degrade the marine environment to take measures to reduce marine pollution (Article 5). If the activity or business ends up polluting the marine environment, the person responsible should restore it to its original condition and pay fines for the damage done (Article 7). It is forbidden for any person to discharge pollutants from ships unless under certain conditions (Article 22). Ship owners are required to have waste storage or disposal facilities for wastes generated onboard (Article 25). Incineration is prohibited on sailing ships except under methods determined by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (Article 46).  For certain businesses intending to protect the marine environment (through methods such as ocean waste discharge and marine pollution prevention), ocean waste must be collected using specific ships, facilities, and equipment (Article 70). Those businesses should submit a statement on prevention of marine environment pollution to the minister of oceans and fisheries or to the minister of public safety and security (Article 72). Besides having proper waste storage or disposal facilities (Article 25), ship owners must also conduct a marine pollution impact survey, covering areas affected by pollutants (Articles 77 and 78). Lastly, penalties are applied to persons who break regulations (Article 129).

Korea issued the Act on the Promotion of Saving and Recycling of Resources, last amended in 2015, to preserve the environment by controlling waste production and promoting recycling activities (Article 1). The regulation showcases the basic principle of recycling and consists of three steps: (1) waste must be reused; (2) if it is difficult to do so, waste can be converted into energy; (3) if it is impossible for waste to be converted into energy, then it must be managed to minimise environmental degradation (Article 2–2). Business entities should not provide disposable products for free. These business entities include meal service facilities, those involved in food manufacturing or processing, public baths, superstores, and sports facilities. However, products may be disposed of free of charge in certain cases, such as food purchased from vending machines (Article 10). Administrative fines will be imposed on those who offer or use free disposable products (Article 41). 

Apart from regulations targeting the marine environment and disposable products, Korea has also issued the Wastes Control Act, which aims to cut waste production and implement proper waste disposal (Article 1). Every person is responsible for reducing and recycling wastes to keep the environment clean (Article 7). No one may dispose of wastes except in areas intended for waste collection or bury or incinerate wastes except in licensed areas (Article 8). Any person who intends to collect, transport, store, or dispose of wastes should follow regulations set by the presidential decree governing this issue (Article 13). Managers or owners of land or buildings must dispose of household wastes under regulations of the metropolitan autonomous city or special self-governing province. Generators of household wastes should separate wastes that they cannot dispose of and store them separately according to their type, nature, and state (Article 15). Generators of commercial wastes dispose of and minimise them by installing waste minimisation and recycling facilities. Producers should provide waste disposal plans, waste analysis reports, and documents of commission acceptance if waste is commissioned. Waste management businesses that want to collect, transport, dispose of, and treat wastes should submit a waste management plan to the minister of environment (Article 25). Penalties are applied to those who do not follow the regulations (Article 63-68).


References

Local Regulations: Republic of Korea

 

The city of Incheon has several campaigns and programmes to tackle marine plastic debris. 

1. Buy Back Programme 

The Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs initiated and has successfully implemented the Buy Back Programme, a purchasing programme under which fishers are obliged to bring back collected wastes (ropes, nets, vinyl, etc.) from the sea. This programme, aimed at increasing the quality of marine environment and recovering the fish population, has resulted in effective and cost-efficient marine litter collection while increasing fishers’ awareness of the environmental impacts of marine litter and increasing their income (NOWPAP MERRAC, 2008

2. One Beach, One Company 

Implemented in Incheon, One Beach, One Company was developed by the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs to engage fishery-related corporations, local organisations, communities, and volunteer groups. Similar to the Buy Back Programme, the campaign aims to raise public awareness of the marine environment. The campaign assigns participating companies to voluntarily collect wastes from beaches, harbours, and ports in the city (NOWPAP MERRAC, 2008).  

3. Educational Programme on Marine Pollution  

The Incheon Regional Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office has initiated an educational programme to raise public awareness of marine environment and measures to counter marine pollution. Students and the public visit cleaning ships to see how sea surface collecting devices work (NOWPAP MERRAC, 2008).  

4. Coastal Clean-up Campaign 

In Incheon, the Coastal Clean-up Campaign is performed on 31 May each year in collaboration with local non-governmental organisations. A similar programme – the International Coastal Clean-up Campaign – is held on the third Saturday of September to raise public awareness of the severe condition of the marine environment.  

Since April 2019, Seoul has been reducing waste by fining supermarkets and shops that use single-use plastic bags. Stores that violate the rule are fined up to W3 million. The use of thin-film plastic bags, however, is still allowed for wet items, including fish or meat (KBS World Radio, 2019).  


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Republic of Korea

 

Republic of Korea has set ambitious steps to tackle marine litter through the 5-year National Marine Litter Management Plan. The first National Marine Litter Management Plan, 2009–2013, had four main objectives: minimising litter that flows into the marine environment, increasing marine litter collection and disposal capacity, advancing public and international collaboration, and increasing marine litter management capacity (Yeon, 2018). The National Marine Litter Management Plan, 2014–2018, extended the first plan and focused on establishing safe and productive seas through four key steps: robust management of sources of marine debris, development of marine debris management infrastructure, enhancement of public-based waste collection project, and encouragement of education (Chang, 2017). By the end of 2018, Korea had established the third National Marine Litter Management Plan, 2019–2023, which has more comprehensive and enhanced policies on marine litter (Suh, 2018). Table 1 shows the plan’s four strategies, each with different programmes.  

Table 1. Strategies and Programmes of the Third National Marine Litter Management Plan 

Strategy 

Programme 

Prevention of waste generation 

  • Improvement of sea-based source management 

  • Improvement of land-based source management 

  • Improvement of foreign-based source management 

Enhancement of collection and transportation system 

  • Reduction of blind spot collection 

  • Creation of supporting environment to promote local participation 

  • Creation of efficient collection system 

Acceleration of disposal and recycling 

  • Improvement of disposal infrastructure and enhancement of management 

  • Establishment of foundation for recycling 

Support of foundation and management of public awareness 

  • Encouragement of domestic waste foundation  

  • Establishment of management of ocean microplastics foundation 

  • Increase in public participation 

  • Enhancement of customised education 

  • Enhancement of international affairs and cooperation response 

Source: Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Ministry of Environment, and Korea Coast Guard (2019). 


References

Action Plans and Roadmaps: Malaysia

 

The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) of Malaysia published Malaysia’s Roadmap Towards Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018–2030 on September 2018.   

Table 1. Target Items and Measures on Single-Use Plastics

Items 

Period 

Measure 

Drinking straw 

2019 

No straw as default; straws given free upon request, in fixed premises 

2022 

Expand to non-fixed premises 

Garbage bag of garden waste collection 

2019 

Local governments to utilise compostable garbage bags for garden waste collection 

Single-use plastic bag 

2019–2021 

Pollution charge imposed by state governments (fixed premises) 

2022 

Nationwide pollution charge  

Food packaging, plastic film, cutlery, food container, polybag and plant pot, slow-release fertiliser  

2022–2025 

Expand scope of biodegradable and compostable products 

Single-use medical devices (e.g. catheters), diapers and feminine hygiene products, other single-use plastics that cannot enter the circular economy 

2026–2030 

Expand scope of biodegradable and compostable products 

Source: MESTECC (2018).

Specific to single-use plastics, other identified actions are introducing incentives on eco-friendly products, revising eco-labelling on plastics, and formulating a circular economy roadmap for bottles, single-use plastics, and others.


References

Ministries and Coordination Mechanism: Indonesia

 

The Presidential Decree of the Republic of Indonesia Number 83 Year 2018 on Marine Debris Management, launched in September 2018, created the National Coordination Team on Marine Debris Management. The team is chaired by the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and the Minister of Environment and Forestry, who serves as the daily chairman. The coordination team also include 14 ministers, cabinet secretaries, and the head of the Maritime Security Agency as members (Table 1).

The coordination team is to (1) coordinate the activities of the ministries, non-ministerial institutions, regional governments, communities, and/or private sector on marine debris management; (2) make policies to surmount obstacles and solve problems regarding marine debris management; and (3) coordinate the monitoring and evaluation of action plan implementation.

Table 1. Members of the National Coordination Team on Marine Debris Management

Chairman

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs

Daily Chairman

Minister of Environment and Forestry

Member

Minister of Home Affairs

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Minister of Finance

Minister of Industry

Minister of Transportation

Minister of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs

Minister of Public Works and Housing

Minister of Health

Minister of Education and Culture

Minster of Research, Technology and Higher Education

Minister of Communication and Information

Minister of National Development Planning / Head of National Development Planning Agency

Minister of Cooperative and Small and Medium Business

Minister of Tourism

Cabinet Secretary

Head of Marine Security Agency

Secretary

Directorate General of Solid Waste, Waste and Hazardous and Toxic Substances Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry

Daily Secretary

Deputy Assistant of Maritime Science and Technology Utilization, Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs

Source: Government of Indonesia (2018).

The National Action Plan for Marine Debris Management for 2018–2025 is attached in the presidential regulation and specifies each ministry’s role. For example, the Ministry of Industry is in charge of encouraging the growth of the recycling industry and the industry to produce degradable plastics. The Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs is in charge of, for example, constructing waste-handling facilities at fishing ports and organising movements to clean up beaches and seas. The Ministry of Public Works and Housing is in charge of waste collection infrastructure on river and waste management facilities, and stipulation of plastic waste usage as additive in road construction.


References

    Government of Indonesia (2018), Peraturan Presiden Republik Indonesia Nomor 83 Tahun 2018 tentang Penanganan Sampah Laut. [Presidential Decree of the Republic of Indonesia Number 83 Year 2018 on Marine Debris Management]. https://sipuu.setkab.go.id/PUUdoc/175608/Perpres%20Nomor%2083%20Tahun%202018.pdf (accessed 23 October 2019).  

International Agreement: ASEAN Initiatives

 

The ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris covers various actions (see Table 1) and suggested activities to reduce marine debris in the Southeast Asian region. The suggested activities are those for further discussion by ASEAN and its partners under the proposed regional action plan on combating marine debris in the ASEAN region.

Table 1. Proposed Actions in the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris

Framework

Action

Framework I:

Policy Support and Planning

  1. Promote regional policy dialogue on prevention and reduction of marine debris from land- and sea-based activities by highlighting the issue, sharing information and knowledge, and strengthening regional coordination
  1. Mainstream multi-sectoral policy measures to address marine debris in national and ASEAN’s development agenda and priorities.
  1. Encourage ASEAN Member States to implement relevant international laws and agreements related to waste management- such as MARPOL Annex V ship generated waste, Basel Convention, and UN Environment Assembly resolutions 3/7 on Marine Litter and Microplastics.
  1. Develop a regional action plan on combating marine debris in the ASEAN Region by applying integrated land-tosea policy approaches.

Framework II: Research, Innovation and Capacity Building

  1. Compile regional baseline on status and impacts of marine debris in the ASEAN Region.
  1. Strengthen regional, national and local capacities to develop and implement national action plans/initiatives.
  1. Enhance scientific knowledge, transfer marine technology and promote innovative solution to combat marine debris.
  1. Promote integration and application of scientific knowledge to enhance science-based decisions and policies on marine debris prevention and management.

Framework III: Public Awareness, Education and Outreach

  1. Promote public awareness on status and impacts of marine debris and microplastics.
  1. Accelerate advocacy strategy/programme to promote behavior change to combat marine debris, and to incorporate marine debris issue into ASEAN’s Culture of Prevention Initiative.
  1. Promote platforms for knowledge sharing, innovative solutions and best practices to combat marine debris.

Framework IV: Private Sector Engagement

  1. Promote collaborative actions with private sector and industry associations to implement measures to address marine debris issues.
  1. Encourage private sector investment in and contribution to combat marine debris.

Source: ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris.

Started at the ASEAN Conference on Reducing Marine Debris in ASEAN Region in Phuket, Thailand, in November 2017, the initiative identified five pillars of action: policy support and strengthening; capacity building; education, research, and innovation; private sector engagement; and public awareness and outreach. Prior to the conference, the East Asia Summit (EAS) Conference on Combating Marine Plastic Debris, held in Bali, Indonesia, in September 2017, recommended proposing actions such as campaign, research, and education on marine debris, and policy reform and regulatory enforcement (Chairman’s Statement of the 12th East Asia Summit).

In January 2019, the Coordination Meeting on Marine Debris Action in ASEAN Region was organised prior to the 20th meeting of the ASEAN Working on Coastal and Marine Environment. The coordination meeting rearranged the five pillars of action into to four frameworks: policy support and planning; research, innovation, and capacity building; public awareness, education, and outreach; and private sector engagement. The coordination meeting also identified various actions and suggested activities under these frameworks.

On 5 March 2019, the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Marine Debris, held in Bangkok, Thailand, welcomed the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris, and agreed to forward the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region for consideration and adoption by the ASEAN leaders at the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. In June 2019, the Bangkok Declaration was adopted at the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok. The framework of action was welcomed by the ASEAN summit.

 


References

International Agreement: COBSEA Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter

 

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