It is true that our planet earth has its boundaries, and sometimes us, humans step out too far outside the boundaries. Population and economy have been multiplying these past years. However, it results in some negative consequences of environmental threats; waste-disposal problems, pollution, water scarcity, climate change, biodiversity loss, and many more. Indonesia, the home of 267 million people, has contributed to some environmental problems. 

As said by the Minister of Environment and Forestry, in 2020, waste in Indonesia already reach 67.8 million tons and seems to increase as the population and the prosperity grow.[1] Indonesia ranked the fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter[2], one that leads to climate change; this truly not a good accomplishment. 

Facing the unfavourable condition, the Indonesian government has been doing various efforts to tackle the challenges; policies, plans, strategies, regulations. One of the efforts is the Presidential Decree No. 27/2017 about National Strategy and Policy (Jakstranas) of household and similar-to-household waste treatment at national, provincial, and regency levels, the waste reduction target has been set to 30% and waste handling to 70% by 2025.[3] It is also stated that waste is one of the priority sectors in Indonesia to drive further to reduce emission, based on Low Carbon Development Indonesia (LCDI).[4] 

Nevertheless, it did not stop there; it indeed needs a holistic and systemic approach to solve those environmental challenges, that are indirectly related to social, economic, and governance. Looking with a helicopter view, the current behaviour of take–make–dispose industry model is no longer relevant. Therefore circular economy framework underpins the transition to a more sustainable future, which in the heart lies a restorative and regenerative economy.   

The circular economy focuses on designing systems where waste and pollution no longer produced, keep products and material in use, and regenerate natural systems.[5] Furthermore, the circular economy term has been included in the Medium-Term National Development Plan (RPJMN) Narration of 2020-2024 in economic, infrastructure, and environment sector; and it will be further emphasized in the 2025-2029 term. 

Above all the ambitions, on February 24th 2020, Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) has launched its initiative with The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Government of Denmark to underpin the development of Indonesia’s national strategy on the circular economy.[6]

The circular economy strategy development is divided into 4 (four) phases, which are: (1) Economic, Social, and Environment Analysis, (2) Circular Economy Action Plan with Sectoral Initiatives, (3) National Circular Economy Platform, and (4) International Partnerships.[7] Currently, the project is on the first phase, which estimated will be finished this year.  The strategy is more specifically developed on the 5 (five) sectors:
  1. Plastic conversion and waste management,
  2. Food and beverages,
  3. Electronic manufacturing and e-waste,
  4. Construction and built environment, and
  5. Textiles and fashion industry.[7]

The transition to a circular economy is indeed not easy. Thus it needs strong collaboration from every sector; government, private, academic, NGOs and CSOs, even internationally. This momentum has inspired and raised the spirit of movement and change. The spirit belongs to everyone, and should not stop there. There is always space for us to do something, to move forward, further, to a better and more sustainable future.

[1] detikNews. “Menteri LHK: Timbunan Sampah di Indonesia Tahun 2020 Capai 67,8 Juta Ton.” Available at:

[2] WRI. “Climate Change – Indonesia.” Available at:

[3] Presiden Republik Indonesia. “Peraturan Presiden Republik Indonesia Nomor 97 Tahun 2017.” Available at:

[4] Dr. Medrilzam (BAPPENAS). “Low Carbon Development Path through Circular Economy.”

[5] Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “What is The Circular Economy.” Available at:

[6] UNDP. “UNDP, Bappenas and Denmark collaborate to support the development of Circular Economy in Indonesia.” Available at:

[7] UNDP. “Country: Indonesia Initial Plan.” Available at:

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