The Rakyat Post, Malaysian media portal (04/04) reported that during the COVID-19 pandemic there was 27% surge of medical waste in Malaysia in March this year, a significant increase by 10% from the previous month. In Jakarta, the surge was by 30%, according to Berita Satu (Indonesian digital news channel) published on 22/04. Moreover, COVID-19 has affected on the volume of waste from residential area, following a new trend in obtaining daily needs, mostly food items which caused a rapid increase of plastic wastes used for wrappings.
With all these at the background, on July 13th AIPA-ERIA Joint Dialogue was held to raise awareness about current and potential issues on waste management in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in ASEAN member states (AMS) and allow the parliamentarians to discuss oversight of issues and their roles in the implementation of the waste management policies to mitigate the virus transmission in the region. ERIA (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia), provides support to ASEAN economic integration process among ASEAN member countries through research, consultation, expertise and other resources. This Joint Dialogue was held under the Memorandum of Understanding between AIPA and ERIA which was initially signed in 2016 and as a follow-up to the Resolution on Establishing AIPA-ERIA Joint Dialogue to Support the Waste Management for Sustainable Development adopted at the 40th General Assembly of the AIPA in 2019.