The island of the gods takes action on plastic waste
Author: Liam Taylor
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.
- 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 Australia, Take 3 for the Sea and Seaside Scavenge are incredible organisations working to reduce global plastic pollution through education and participation.
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