On December 24th 2018, history was made with the announcement that single-use plastic will finally be banned in Bali in 2019...
Think of Bali and no doubt picture-perfect visions of white sand beaches, hidden waterfalls and breathtaking landscapes spring to mind – and rightly so. But let’s be real here – for decades now, Bali has been fighting an ever-growing environmental crisis that’s littering our paradise island. We’re talking about plastic.
Ever since plastic was introduced to Bali without the right education and proper recycling facilities, plastic has been finding its way onto our beaches, into our waterways and even into our food. But that’s about to change. On December 24th 2018, Bali Governor, Wayan Koster, announced a ban on single-use plastic in 2019 – that means no more dreaded styrofoam, plastic bags or plastic straws.
This new initiative is said to take effect within six months to give businesses a time to react. Following the ban, the Governor hopes to reduce Bali’s plastic marine pollution by a whopping 70%. The announcement comes after a wave of recent global media attention and disappointed beachgoers, including the viral photo from @thelifeofjord on Instagram (pictured below).
Bali’s plastic past
In the past five years, Bali’s very own activists at Bye Bye Plastic Bags have fought for a plastic-free future. The wave-making founders, Isabel and Melati (two sisters who initiated the youth-driven movement when they were just 13 and 15 years-old) have campaigned relentlessly against the production of plastic bags on Bali. Finally, it seems their pleas are coming to fruition.
Taking the island’s plastic problem to the international stage, the girls have spoken at a number of international Ted Talks, initiated meetings with government leaders, held over 231 presentations globally to-date (including United Nations conferences in New York), and have expanded to 25 teams worldwide. They have also distributed more than 16,800 alternative bags to local communities, and have been recognised on CNN, Al Jazeera and on Forbes’ Top 10 Most Inspiring Women list.
Last year, the Bali government promised a complete bag ban by 2018, which was unfortunately unfulfilled. Earlier this year, Denpasar’s regional government agreed to ban plastic bags in supermarkets and shopping malls by January 1st 2019, however, this bill did not cover the entire island nor other types of single-use plastics at local markets or small shops.
This time around, however, change is finally happening, and while there are plenty more steps to be taken to rid the island of this toxic polluter, Bali’s future has never looked so clean and green. Check out the video below following last year’s campaign, and keep your eyes peeled for more updates on the 2019 bill.
HEY BALI! Are we actually going to be plastic bag free by 2018? Listen up! Here are the facts and commitments we’ve collected through 5 years of campaigning to ban plastic bags. From an online petition to a signed MOU with the governor, we’ve shared the goal of a plastic bag free Bali with the masses. We know the time for change has never been better. Let’s take it to the next level Bali. The world is watching!—————–Apakah kita akan benar-benar bebas dari kantong plastik di tahun 2018? Perhatikan! Inilah fakta dan komitmen yang telah kami kumpulkan selama 5 tahun berkampanye untuk melarang kantong plastik. Dari petisi online ke MOU yang telah ditandangani oleh Gubernur, kami telah membagikan tujuan dari bebas kantong plastik di Bali dengan masa. Kita tahu waktu untuk perubahan tidak pernah sebaik ini. Ayo bawa ke tingkat berikutnya, Bali. Dunia sedang menyaksikan!
Posted by Bye Bye Plastic Bags on Tuesday, 14 November 2017
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