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The Ministry of Industry (MOI) seeks to optimize industrial production processes that prioritize efficiency and effectiveness in the sustainable use of resources. This step is expected to be able to balance industrial development with environmental preservation, as well as provide more benefits to the community.

"We put the 4R concept, namely reduce, reuse, recycle, recovery, into industrial activities. The recycle element is a priority, both at the raw material processing, production and post-production stages. So all aspects of the industrial sector can be involved in the application of the green industry, "said the Director General of the Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Textile Industry (IKFT) of the Ministry of Industry, Muhammad Khayam, Wednesday (13/1/2021).

Khayam conveyed that in order to realize the application of green industry principles in the manufacturing sector, the government is trying to change the concept of a linear economy into a circural economy. Through a circular economy, the industry is expected to be able to make maximum use of allowed recycled materials, thereby reducing waste.

The application of a circular economy can provide many benefits for the industrial sector, such as efficiency of raw materials, increased production of recyclable goods, prevention of illegal dumping and emissions, and of course the creation of new jobs.

Khayam explained, in carrying out the circular economy concept, the Ministry of Industry determines sectors that are priority for implementation, including the plastics industry, the rubber scrap industry, the lubricant industry, and the coal tar industry and textiles.

Meanwhile, the national plastic industry has an important role and is closely related to other industries, such as the food and beverage industry, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, electronics, agriculture, automotive, and household goods. The plastic industry in Indonesia is a production supply chain for other strategic sectors.

Currently, there are around 1,600 downstream plastic industries in the country. However, so far the needs of this sector are still dominated by imported virgin raw materials with a total of 3.8 million tonnes in 2019 to meet demand. In that period, there were 2.5 million tons of local raw materials available.

"With the application of the circular economy principle, it is hoped that imports of raw materials can be reduced, including imported recycled products. So, we continue to encourage and optimize the availability of local recycled materials for the plastic industry, because the potential for recycling is getting bigger, "he said.

With the optimization of the recycling industry, employment in this field is projected to continue to increase. From data that the government has, currently there are 3 million waste banks or scavengers, 160,000 collectors and grinders, around 100 workers in large suppliers, and 60,000 workers who work in the plastic recycling industry.

Meanwhile, the rubber scrap industry plays an important role in the tire industry. Currently, there are five domestic scrap recycling industries that carry out rubber recycling with a capacity of 10-15 thousand tons per year.

As for the lubricant industry, there are 44 companies with an investment value of around IDR 40 trillion. The products of this sector are utilized by the automotive sector, industrial plant machines, ships and trains. Currently, there are two companies, PT Wiraswasta Gemilang Indonesia (PT WGI) and PT ALP Petro Industri, which process used lubricants using high technology refinery and lube oil blending plants. About 65 percent of used oil can still be used again.

Then, coal tar which is the residue from the coal industry can be used in the carbon black oil (CBO) industry. CBO is the raw material for tires. The use of coal tar can replace decant oil at a price of one third of the original raw material price. In addition, coal tar can also be used for naphthalene, wash oil, and aromatic hydrocarbons.

Coal tar production is also increasing every year in line with the growth of the iron and steel smelting industry. Currently there are four industries that produce this coal tar.

Finally, the textile industry is also encouraged to utilize waste optimally. Apart from managing textile waste, this sector also needs to process polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste. According to Khayam, the recycling rate for PET in Europe must be up to 25 percent. So, Indonesia is also expected to be able to make the best use of it.

Khayam added, in order to realize a sustainable green industry, the government has prepared various efforts such as formulating policies, increasing the capacity of institutional institutions through research and development, testing, certification, and promotion.

Furthermore, standardization on raw materials, additional raw materials, and energy, as well as in the production process, products, utilization management, and waste management. The government is also making efforts to provide facilities to support the application of green industry principles.

"Apart from that, incentives are a matter of concern. This has been implemented in developed countries and has started here, such as with the establishment of a waste bank which partly rewards people who collect and hand over waste. This step needs to be supported by coordination between related parties, "he said.