The island of the gods takes action on plastic waste

Date: 07-Jan-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Bali is well known all over the world for it's vibrant culture and stunning beaches. Image: Harry Kessell/Unsplash © Liam Taylor

Bali is well known all over the world for it's vibrant culture and stunning beaches. Image: Harry Kessell/Unsplash

Balinese authorities have made good on a promise to address plastic pollution by enacting a ban on single-use plastics including shopping bags, styrofoam food packets and straws.

Travellers to Bali in recent years during the wet season have often been treated to a less-than-idyllic sight on the island’s traditionally spotless beaches: copious amounts of plastic waste.

For years there has been debate over whether the plastic is coming from Bali itself or neighbouring island java, but experts now estimate that up to 80% comes from the island. This was sufficient evidence for Bali’s new governor Wayan Koster to look into the issue, leading to the announcement of the plastics ban on December 21 last year.

In order to allow vendors sufficient time to adjust, the policy carries a six-month grace period during which offenders will not be punished. Authorities hope the policy will lead to a 70% decline in Bali’s marine plastic pollution by the beginning of 2020.

Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, is now also looking into a similar law after a survey by the Indonesia Plastic Bags Diet movement showed over 90% of residents agreed there was a need to reduce use of plastics.

Last year, Indonesia announced a national action plan aiming to reduce plastic waste in its waters by 70% by 2025. Up to US$1 billion has been allocated to fund the action plan.


Positive Action

  • Marine plastic pollution is a huge issue for many marine and coastal mammals such as turtles, tortoises, dolphins and whales. Avoid single-use plastics where possible and find out how to recycle the unavoidable stuff at RecyclingNearYou.
  • For those that want to help clean up, Clean Up AustraliaTake 3 for the Sea and Seaside Scavenge are incredible organisations working to reduce global plastic pollution through education and participation.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.  

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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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