Indonesia Expat

Just Two Hands: Reducing Plastic Bags

Imagine on one fine morning, you are strolling down the street, and then someone robs you. But they won’t take your stuff because the thing they want the most is the plastic bag that you’re carrying.

Gerakan Indonesia Diet Kantong Plastik (GIDKP) is a social movement, advocating in a “zero waste lifestyle” and dieting the usage of plastic bags. One of their activities is #RampokPlastik, mugging people on the street and robbing their plastic bags, in exchange for reusable bags.

One of the ‘robbers,’ is Karunia, Volunteer Coordinator of GIDKP’s Bandung chapter. She discovered the vacancy of being a GIDKP volunteer through an online platform, Indorelawan.

“We observed people in the park or down the street. Whoever brings plastic bags, we stopped them and offer the reusable bags for free,” she explained. Fortunately for her and the team, people don’t mind with the proposal. “Maybe because it’s free, but we’re glad that they accepted it. At the very least, we have successfully educated them on the dangers of plastic bags on the environment,” says Karunia.

#RampokPlastik is not the only activity they do. GIDKP also petitioned major supermarket retailers in Jakarta and Bandung to not give plastic bags for free.

“First, we surveyed the place, which malls or supermarket are still using plastic bags. Then we put in to our database,” said Karunia.

From the findings, they’ll update the petition then aim at the supermarkets or malls that still use plastic bags. “Our end goal is to see specific regulations that prohibit the use of any kind of plastic bags,” Karunia explained.

The petition has reached a significant impact with Governor of Jakarta Joko Widodo, and urged Jakarta to go ‘One Month Without Plastic Bags’ in June. For exactly one year since the start, the petition has reached 9,204 signatures from a total of 10,000 signs required and 10 organizations are involved in the working group.

Please help by signing the petition that aims to make supermarkets charge for the use of plastic bags. Visit:

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