Everyone in Bali during the rainy season from December to February must have noticed a lot of rubbish on the beach and in the ocean. The most surprising is that many people don’t even think where all this plastic comes from. The thing is there are all of us who create garbage.
According to statistics, Indonesia is in the top five countries that pollute the world’s oceans with plastic. Earth cannot digest so much plastic – once created, it never disappears, but only decays into smaller particles.
In our opinion, here are the 3 main reasons why this is happening.
1) Lack of education
Our neighbor, an old lady of about 80, goes to the beach every evening and shakes out a bucket of garbage ashore: banana peels, bits, plastic bags, and glasses. In an hour the tide will come and it will all disappear. She has been doing this for her whole long life. It is difficult and probably hardly possible to explain to her exactly where it will “disappear” and why it is not good to conduct like this. This is a global problem that needs to be addressed at the state level through education. An old lady can’t be changed, but her grandchildren quite possible can be.
2) Lack of a normal infrastructure for waste disposal
This applies not for whole Bali, but somewhere garbage collection as the service is simply not available. In Bali, there is one dump in the Serangan region, where garbage is taken from all over the island. There it is manually sorted and what can be recycled is taken away for recycling to Java. There is a centralized garbage collection on Penida. We pay only a little more than a dollar a month, but it’s easier for neighbors to save money and throw rubbish to the beach.
3) Lots of plastic
Sellers in the market will try to wrap each purchase in a separate bag. In the store, each cookie is wrapped in a separate piece of plastic. Small water bottles and disposable cups are everywhere. According to observations from the plastic that floats in water, 95% is just the packaging. Disposable glasses, packaging for instant noodles, disposable shampoos, packaging for chips, etc.
We want to share with you some very simple tips, the implementation of which will not be very difficult but will help to significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste thrown into the bin by each of us.
1. Minimize the amount of plastic in your home
It is almost impossible to completely abandon plastic bags, but you can reduce their number at times without much effort. You can try to use reusable textile bags or plastic bags you already have. It’s simple! You just need to remember to take them with you, going to the market or to the store. Always discard packages at the store whenever possible!
In addition to packages, there is also disposable tableware, various packaging, etc. It is also most often possible to refuse it or, when buying something in a store, turn on awareness and choose where less plastic is used.
2. Collect garbage separately
At Nusa Penida, unfortunately, it makes sense to separate only organic waste from inorganic waste. For organic there is a compost pit, all the rest are thrown together. This already reduces the total amount of garbage thrown out several times, and this is the minimum that everyone can do.
If you have the opportunity to separate the garbage and throw it away separately or to hand it over to recycling centers, take this opportunity. It’s not difficult, you quickly get used to it and it becomes a habit.
3. Use reusable water bottles
Instead of buying a plastic bottle every time, you should get it with a reusable alternative. It is convenient and stylish. You can replenish stocks of water in a bottle, often for free. Coolers, where you can get water, are in many places, including supermarkets, surf schools, government agencies, etc.
4. Discard plastic straws
Straws are another great example of how we create a huge amount of useless plastic. Many eco-cafes have long used glass or bamboo straws. It’s a good habit to get your own straw and carry it with you. Minimum places in the bag, and drinking a delicious shake or fresh coconut from your own straw is much more pleasant.
5. Take part in beaches cleanups
Trash cannot only be created but also removed. Periodic cleaning of the beaches carries both a cleaning result and an educational one. For example, there is such a Trash Hero project that anyone can join. It takes place in many places in Asia. Here at Nusa Penida, we are organizing this kind event – Trash Hero Nusa Penida. Every Monday, people gather on one of the beaches and together they cheerfully clean it and sort the garbage. Believe us, it works. Especially what is good is when children take part in such cleanings they begin to understand from childhood that plastic is bad and we need to reduce its consumption.
Check this FB group out for the meeting point for the next event.
Complete this list with your simple tips that will help each of us reduce our “plastic footprint” on our lovely Planet.