Covid-19 and Waste Management Law: Do Hard and Soft Laws Complement Each Other?


The Covid-19 pandemic has led to various health, economic, and environmental problems. Waste management is one of the environmental problems that have emerged during this pandemic. Countries worldwide are trying to overcome the increase in the quantity and type of waste during the pandemic, such as disposable masks, face shields, and gloves, whether from households, commercial areas, or quarantine homes. Then there is also much medical waste sourced from health service places and places where people do swab testing and Covid-19 vaccinations. Moreover, there are other problems like increasing plastic waste from food consumption in the household during work and school activities from home. These waste problems add to the complexity of waste management, especially in developing countries which still needs improvement in their law and policy, technology, capacity, and legal awareness of the community in waste management. An interesting legal phenomenon during the Covid-19 pandemic is the widespread use of soft laws in the form of protocols, circulars, instructions, and appeals. This paper aims to study various forms of soft law used by the Government of Indonesia to manage Covid waste and analyze their compliance with national laws. This paper consists of two main parts: describing the trends in the use of soft law in waste management during the Covid-19 pandemic, and an analysis of the relationship between “hard law” and “soft law” in handling COVID-19 waste.

Keywords: Covid-19, environmental impact, soft law, waste management

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