How plastic caused an environmental emergency in Bali

Dark side of Bali

In the southern part of Bali alone, more than 240 tons of garbage are produced daily, and 25% comes from the tourism industry. Decades ago, Balinese locals used banana leaves to wrap food that would naturally decompose within a short period of time.

With the introduction of plastic, the lack of knowledge and the lack of a waste management system, Bali is in an environmental emergency. Most of the waste ends up incinerated or dumped into waterways, yards and landfills.

During the rainy season, most of the debris washes into waterways and then ends up in the ocean. Over 6,5 million tourists see Bali’s waste problem every year but don’t realize they are part of the problem too.

Statistics show that one tourist produces an average of 5 kg of garbage per day. This is more than 6 times what the average local would produce in a day.

Most of the waste generated by tourists comes from hotels, restaurants and eateries. Compared to the home country of tourists, where garbage can end up in a recycling plant, here in Bali, this is not the case.

Part of the solution or part of the problem?

Understanding that every decision you make either contributes to the solution of the problem or to the problem is the first step towards protecting this beautiful island.

So what can you do as a tourist to be part of the solution and not part of the problem?

1. Choose eco-friendly rooms that care about the environment.

2. Avoid single-use plastic. Bring your own bottle, bedding and reusable bag on your trip. There are many “filling stations” in Bali where you can fill up your refillable water bottle. You can download the “refillmybottle” app which shows you all the “filling stations” in Bali.

3. Contribute. There is a lot of cleaning going on in Bali every day. Join the group and become an active part of the solution.

4. When you see waste on the beach or on the street, feel free to pick it up, every piece counts.

As Anne-Marie Bonnot, known as Zero Waste Chef, says: “We don’t need a bunch of people to be great at zero waste and leave zero waste. We need millions of people who do it imperfectly.”

Not a garbage island

We try our best to reduce the negative impact on the planet, while enjoying and having a lot of fun with travel.

Bali is a paradise rich in culture, beautiful places and a warm community, but we need to make sure it doesn’t turn into a garbage island.

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