Bali’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, but unfortunately, they’re also plagued with pollution. Poor waste management on the island, as well as as well as monsoon weather, have led to plastic waste becoming a yearly sight on Bali’s beaches, particularly Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak. On Kuta Beach, locals spent the first day of the new year cleaning up the sands, where 30 tons of marine debris had accumulated, 70 percent of which was plastic.
Wayan Puja, from the environment and sanitation agency of the Badung area, told The Guardian, “We have been working really hard to clean up the beaches, however the trash keeps coming. Every day we deploy our personnel, trucks and loaders.”
By Saturday, over 60 tons of trash was removed from beaches in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak, carted away by trucks, making for a total of 90 tons of waste picked up in just two days. While the idea of a community banding together to clean up their beaches is encouraging, the root issue doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
Dr. Gede Hendrawan, head of the Center for Remote Sensing and Ocean Sciences at Bali’s Udayana University, said, “The biggest problem is actually the trash handling hasn’t been effective in Indonesia. Bali has just started to reorganise it, also Java has just started.”
Although the Indonesian government launched a national strategy last April to battle the plastic waste crisis, it’s an uphill battle. According to state-run news agency Antara, Indonesia wants to cut plastic waste by 70 percent by 2025 and have zeo plastic pollution by 2040.