Expats are helping clean up Bali from plastic waste
In recent years, many expatriates living in Bali have initiated efforts to clean up the island from plastic waste.
One of the latest and most well-known initiatives is "Bye-Bye Plastic Bag," which was initiated by sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen, aged 13 and 12, of Indonesian-Dutch heritage. Seeing the abundance of plastic waste everywhere on their beloved island, the Green School students were inspired to do something positive to change the situation. They started this project with the goal of banning the use, sale, and production of plastic bags in Bali by January of the following year.
It all began with collecting signatures on the Avaaz.org website, and the initiative has already garnered over 50,000 signatures.
Currently, the girls are conducting presentations about the project in schools across the island and trying to persuade government officials to support the project.
"We are doing this because we love Bali. We are young, we live on this island, and therefore, we are obligated to fight for and stand up for what is important to us. Plastic and waste, in general, have become a serious problem for Bali in recent years, and we will do everything we can to make a difference," the project initiators shared on their website byebyeplasticbags.com.
If the initiative garners 1 million signatures, they will try to convince the Bali government to pass a law banning the use, production, and sale of plastic bags in Bali. They have also organized work with the media, developed and produced special eco-shopping bags that will be distributed for free to local residents.
Last Saturday, a pilot project was launched in the village of Pererenan on the southwest coast of Bali, where plastic bags will no longer be used for the first time on the island. About 300 children from local schools were involved in the campaign, using games and presentations to explain to local residents the environmental and social benefits of the ban on polyethylene bags for the village and the island as a whole. The village head, I Ketut Sukerasena, stated that he is proud that Pererenan will be the first village on the island without plastic bags and highly appreciates the efforts of activists to implement the project in reality.
Estimates show that the average Indonesian uses about 700 plastic bags per year. So, if even one person can be convinced to stop using them, there will be 700 fewer bags on the planet's surface.
Some facts about waste in Bali:
- About 1000 cubic meters of plastic waste is generated on Bali every day!
- About 8 million plastic bags are discarded on Bali every day.
- Recycling plants accept plastic waste at a price of 1,500 Indonesian rupiahs ($0.15) per kilogram.
This is not the first environmental project in Bali. There are also projects like:
- Plastic Free Bali
- Tas Pasar taspasar.org - to replace plastic bags with eco-friendly bags. Do not take plastic bags in stores!
- Uluwatu Clean Project - created a waste disposal and liquid waste processing system and sewage at the Uluwatu surf spot. You can help them with a donation!
- Eco Bali Recycling - They provide separate bins for organic/inorganic waste. They collect and recycle waste. You can arrange waste collection for 600,000 rupiahs every six months. It's the easiest thing you can do for proper waste recycling!
- The company Enviropallets Bali http://www.enviropallets.com/ accepts plastic waste at 1,500 rupiahs per kilogram and recycles it into pallets. They can process 30 tons of plastic per day. Large volumes can be transported by the customers. News about the opening of the plant. You too can help make Bali a little cleaner!