Bali Bans Single-Use Plastic - 60% Waste Reduction Targeted
Bali in Indonesia is an amazing place to visit. It has stunning scenery, amazing surfing and coastlines - not to mention awe inspiring temples that will leave you speechless. However, one thing that has been seriously spoiling it for visitors and the entire ecosystem in recent years in particular, is plastic. The 95-mile wide island is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and a plethora of stunning marine life including manta rays, turtles and sharks.
As of July 2nd 2019 Bali has banned single-use plastics including plastic bags, plastic straws and styrofoam in a measure to protect wildlife, tourism and the entire ecosystem. Following a successful 6-month transition period the ban is now fully in place.
Above: Bali is home to some of the most amazing beaches in Indonesia
Why a Plastic Ban In Bali Was Needed
If you had walked along most popular beaches in Bali last year would inevitably have seen all manner of plastic amongst the glistening sand. When we visited last year we picked up fistfuls of straws, bucketloads of plastic bottles and other items such as cotton buds. From speaking to friends that have visited recently and others that live in Bali - this recent change has already helped to make an enormous difference. Visitors to Bali are using their bamboo and metal drinking straws with pride and more importantly, the beaches are appearing to show signs of recovery from what was previously a blatant disregard from a large amount of Bali's visitors and residents.
Sometimes, it takes a law to be passed to really change people's habits. Sad, but true. Indonesia ranks high on the list of the worst plastic polluters in the world but Bali's governor I Wayan Koster has set a positive target of reducing the island's plastic waste by 60-70% within just a year. An ambitious target for Indonesia's most popular tourist destination. It begs the question, why aren't more countries doing more?
Above: A pile of bottles found on Bali's neighbouring island Nusa Lembongan
What single-use plastics are banned in Bali?
The ban is specifically aimed at plastic drinking straws, plastic bags and styrofoam. Styrofoam is a kind of extruded polystyrene and often used in the making of coffee cups and take away food containers.
The Indonesian government tried to implement a charge on plastic bags in 2016 but the change was dropped when consumers questioned the legality and ability for retailers to add the surcharge. The government is keen to take a hard-stance on this and questioned whether even a charge was acceptable.
"Our sole objective is to reduce plastic waste, not to charge for plastic bags," said Mr Rahanta of Aprindo. "As one of the main sources of plastic bags, we are aware that we should play a part in reducing plastic waste, and we do that by no longer providing plastic bags for free." Source, Bangkok Post.
So there it is - next time you visit Bali there should be a lot less plastic around. Take your own reusable items to be safe but we have it on good authority that most of the local businesses are embracing the ban and supplying reusable straws and suchlike to their customers.