Bali enacts plastics ban, targeting 70 percent reduced use in 2019
Bali has taken a big step to curb pollution in its seas, enacting a ban on troublesome single-use plastics like shopping bags, styrofoam and straws.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster announced the ban on Monday, as stipulated in Gubernatorial Regulation (Pergub) No. 97/2018, expressing hope that the policy would lead to a 70 percent decline in Bali’s marine plastics within a year.
The new policy carries a six-month grace period dating from Dec. 21, when it was signed and took effect.
Jakarta plans to follow Bali’s example by drafting a similar gubernatorial regulation that bans single-use plastic bags.
Jakarta Environmental Agency head Isnawa Adji said that Jakartans had already agreed to reduce plastic waste. According to a survey by the Indonesia Plastic Bags Diet Movement, more than 90 percent of Jakarta’s residents agreed to reduce their use of plastics.
Isnawa said that one effort to reduce single-use plastics was to limit drinking straws at restaurants, with other establishments to follow suit.
He said the agency would ask for input from stakeholders and residents in the months prior to enacting the ban.
(read more: The Jakarta Post)
photo: John Cameron / unsplas
Indonesia plans to make 30 percent biodiesel blend mandatory, studies B100
While the government expanded the mandatory use of a 20 percent biodiesel blend ( B20 ) in September, it plans to further boost domestic biodiesel consumption to absorb more crude palm oil (CPO) amid fluctuation in the global market price of the commodity.
Apart from improving the distribution of the B20 blend across to the country, the government is also carrying out research to increase the portion of biodiesel in the fuels rom 20 percent to 30 percent ( B30 ) or even to 100 percent ( B100 ).
State-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina supply chain operations manager Gema Iriandus Pahalawan further explained that three more biodiesel refineries would be developed, likely in Plaju in South Sumatra, Dumai in Riau and Balikpapan in East Kalimantan, to produce more biodiesel.
Gema said the production of B30 biodiesel was expected to be implemented, while the government was still improving the B20 distribution, which had reached 97 percent in November and was planned to be completed in December.
‘Bizarre’ zebra crossing in GBK forces pedestrians to jaywalk
A video poking fun at a “bizarre” zebra crossing near Gate 10 of the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) sports complex, Central Jakarta, went viral recently.
The video shows a woman in sportswear crossing the road, but she has to stop halfway because a road divider with plants around 40 centimeters tall cuts through the middle of the zebra crossing.
The woman then pretends to prepare to jump over the divider, while the man behind the camera says jokingly, “The design [of the zebra crossing] requires pedestrians to be good at sports as they have to jump to cross the road.” Both of them eventually walk around the divider before using the zebra crossing again.
The video was uploaded on Gusti Fauzi M Gafli’s Facebook account on Dec. 10.
The caption of the video says, “Anyone that can help, please inform whoever [is] responsible for GBK. Please help make our GBK a world-class sports facility.”
Read more: The Jakarta Post
Indonesia’s warung goes digital
Warung Tiga Putri is not your typical warung . Although it sells snacks, cigarettes and assorted knick-knacks like countless other ramshackle convenience stores across Indonesia’s towns and cities, the tiny bright-yellow kiosk does much more for it is one of Indonesia’s growing number of smart warung . No fewer than five CCTV cameras at the busy Jakarta kiosk collect data on customers, such as their approximate age and sex, which is later analysed to improve marketing, distribution and engagement.
The concept is the brainchild of Warung Pintar, a local tech start-up that has transformed more than 1,000 warung and counting in Jakarta and other Indonesian cities.
For the kiosk’s owner, Junaidi Salad, Warung Pintar has been a godsend. Before the company approached him about turning his 1.5-metre-wide kiosk into the first-ever smart warung , the 32-year-old was worried about being evicted from the roadside he had illegally occupied for several years. The tech start-up – whose co-founders used to work with Jakarta-based venture capitalist East Ventures – helped Salad gain legal status by moving the kiosk to the car park of one of its co-working spaces, where he doesn’t have to pay rent or for electricity.
Warung Pintar isn’t alone in its efforts. Wahyoo, another start-up, aims to modernise food kiosks known as warteg that are scattered in Indonesia’s big cities. Much like Warung Pintar, Wahyoo is streamlining supply chains: wartegowners can now order bottled water, beverages, eggs, cooking oil, sugar, flour, tea, and coffee through a Wahyoo app. The company now has over 2,000 wartegunder its name, up from 50 soon after it was founded in April last year.
“There are only a few warteg that are really clean, and that’s what deters people from eating in them. Despite that, warteg are always full,” said Wahyoo founder Peter Shearer. “We want to be the biggest digital warung operator in Indonesia. In the future we want to enable a point-of-sale system that will allow us to find out the bestsellers on the menu and identify consumers’ profiles.”
Read more: South China Morning Post
Heavy rain, strong winds predicted to hit Jakarta
After heavy rain drenched Jakarta on Monday afternoon, several areas suffered from flooding, including in Rawa Terate, Cakung subdistrict, East Jakarta.
The Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), via its official Twitter account @BPBDJakarta, reported at 4:47 p.m. that there was 1-meter-deep flooding in the area.
The agency recorded that the heavy rain had left at least seven areas across East, West and South Jakarta with around 10 to 20 centimeters of inundation as of 5:27 p.m.
“We call on people planning to use the [inundated] roads to be careful and choose alternative roads instead,” @BPDBJakarta tweeted.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) warned on Monday that heavy rain with strong winds and lightning could potentially occur in the next few days in Greater Jakarta.
BMKG spokesman Hary Djatmiko said the agency had predicted that such weather conditions would continue in the capital until Friday, as the rainy season had just begun in late November.
The agency predicts that the rainy season across the country will last until March next year.
He also said the agency had predicted that the peak of the rainy season nationwide would occur from December until February. Meanwhile, the peak of the rainy season in Greater Jakarta was likely be in January and February, he said.
“If we look at the pattern, [the peak of the rainy season in Greater Jakarta] will be from mid January until mid February,” he told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
Hary explained that the agency regularly communicated weather prediction updates to regional
“Updates will be every 10 days or monthly,” he said, adding that the weather updates from the agency would hopefully help each regional administration to mitigate the risk of flooding or landslides.
With flooding having already occurred in a number of areas across the capital, Jakarta is bracing for the impacts of the rainy season.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan recently said there were 30 flood-prone areas spread across five administrations, four of which are in Central Jakarta, 13 in South Jakarta, four in East Jakarta, six in West Jakarta and three in North Jakarta.
Read more: The Jakarta Post
China, U.S. declare 90-day halt to new tariffs: White House
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – China and the United States agreed to halt additional tariffs in a deal that keeps their trade war from escalating as the two sides try again to bridge their differences with fresh talks aimed at reaching an agreement within 90 days.
The White House said on Saturday that President Donald Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping during high-stakes talks in Argentina that he would not boost tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent on Jan. 1 as previously announced.
Beijing for its part agreed to buy an unspecified but “very substantial” amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products, the White House said in a statement.
The two sides would also launch new trade talks to address issues including technology transfer, intellectual property, non-tariff barriers, cyber theft and agriculture, it said.
If no deal is reached within 90 days, both parties agreed that the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent, the White House said.
On Sunday, China’s state-run media lauded the “important consensus” reached by the two leaders but did not mention the 90-day deadline.
Trump imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in September. China responded with its own tariffs.
Trump says China has agreed to cut tariffs on U.S.-made autos
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that China had agreed to “reduce and remove” tariffs on U.S. cars below the 40 percent level that Beijing is currently charging on American-made vehicles.
A day after he and Chinese President Xi Jinping called a 90-day cease-fire in their trade war to allow time for negotiations, Trump said on Twitter: “China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%.”
After a 2-1/2 hour dinner with Xi on Saturday in Buenos Aires, Trump agreed to postpone an increase in the tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent scheduled for Jan. 1, while China agreed to resume purchases of some U.S. farm and energy commodities.
Go-Jek revs into Singapore market with launch of beta app
Ride-hailing company Go-Jek launched the beta version of its app in Singapore on Thursday (Nov 29), kicking off the roll-out of its services across the island.
During this beta phase, Go-Jek said access to the app will be granted in batches to balance ride demand and service capabilities.
At the initial stage, the app will be made available only in limited areas in Singapore. It can be downloaded from iOS and Android app stores in Singapore from Thursday.
Read more: Channel News Asia
Exciting discussion about cryptocurrency and blockchain with Pang Xue Kai | SCCI Entrepreneur Talk
This month’s Entrepreneur Talk featured Pang Xue Kai (“Kai”), founder CEO of Indonesian cryptocurrency exchange Tokocrypto.
Kai shared about his exciting entrepreneurial journey in Indonesia, and engaged the audience in a lively discussion about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, which ranged from the numerous applications of blockchain technology, and the eradication of the role of middlemen in heavily brokered businesses such as agriculture, to the disruption of traditional industries such as finance, insurance, and law.
The session was moderated by Joel Shen, governing council member of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia and foreign counsel at Christian Teo & Partners.
This is SCCI’s third Entrepreneur Talk this year, and is one of the many networking and thought leadership events that SCCI routinely organises.”