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The island of the gods tackles plastic pollution

Date: 05-Aug-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with spectacular beaches like this being a big reason why.

Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with spectacular beaches like this being a big reason why.

Indonesia’s most popular tourist destination, Bali, has officially instated a ban on single-use plastics and polystyrene in an effort to tackle marine plastic pollution.

Bali’s Governor, I Wayan Koster, announced the ban late last year, but all businesses were given a 6-month grace period to properly plan and implement the transition. On June 23 that grace period ended, meaning polystyrene and single-use items such as plastic bags and straws are now officially prohibited island-wide.

Bali is well-known worldwide for its spectacular and (usually) spotless beaches and incredible surf scene. However, in recent years images have begun to emerge of these beaches overrun with plastic waste. Famously, Instagram influencer Jordan Simons posted an aerial image of a girl lying amidst piles of rubbish on one of the island’s most popular beaches, Batu Bolong.

These images gained significant international attention and, following consultation between the government and local environmentalists who have campaigned tirelessly on the issue, the decision was made to tackle single-use plastics and styrofoam at source.

It is hoped that this policy, in combination with other changes in waste management methods, will ultimately encourage a 70% decrease in Bali’s marine plastic waste within a single year. Bali’s governor I Wayan Koster told the Jakarta Post the policy was targeting all parts of the supply chain to achieve this aim.

“This policy is aimed at producers, distributors, suppliers and business actors, including individuals, to suppress the use of single-use plastics. They must substitute plastics with other materials,” he said.


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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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