Bali’s mounting garbage problem…and a petition to sign

The other week, in one of those mini-markets that have sprung up like Russians in the line-up (we must remember God loves Russian surfers, too, bless their thawing Siberian hearts), a local kid bought a candy bar. The counter-clerk put the candy bar in a small black plastic bag. The kid walks out of the store, chucks the plastic bag on the sidewalk, chucks the candy wrapper too.

Who knows where that plastic bag ended up. Probably in the gutter, possibly in the ocean after all the rain we’ve had, but maybe it got properly swept up and ended up in the Suwung garbage dump. Have you been on the toll road into Sanur and seen that mountain of garbage? The earth-moving equipment they use look like little ants. The Suwung dump has become one of Denpasar’s highest topological features. The road up to the top has switchbacks, for cryin’ out loud, just like the drive up the steepest bits of Bedugul.

And oh, the west wind fragrance that wafts o’er the Sanur tourist playgrounds!

The garbage pickers do their best to recycle plastic bottles and other stuff, but plastic bags are worthless. They make up a significant percent of the garbage by volume, but a great deal ends up scattered here and there, taken out to sea, blown back to the beach by the daily ton. I mean, hey, I don’t really have to be telling you this, right?

So here’s a petition to ban plastic bags on Bali. You might have already done so, but if not, then please do, and pass the word. You can read the feature article on here at Surfer.

Sign the petition

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2 Responses to Bali’s mounting garbage problem…and a petition to sign

  1. Jordi says:

    Hi Richard,
    You know, you made me think about some of the kids/youngsters of the village I used to live. They would go into the water with a cigarette in their lips, dump the butt in the water while paddling out.
    But I also think of the all the uniformed kid, broom in hand early morning, cleaning the streets. The key to this issue is education but obviously something is not working at all. Sad.

  2. robert says:

    I had quite an altercation with my Balinese neighbor last year, she would dutifully sweep her kids rubbish up from out front of her house, pick the rubbish up and then walk a few steps to unceremoniously dump it over her side wall which happens to be right in front of our house.
    This was after I provided a free rubbish bin and weekly service to my adjoining neighbors. Yes the Balinese kids learn to sweep the dirt from an early age at School [ methinks it’s more a lesson in subservience than anything else ] they also learn from their parents to indiscriminately throw wrappers & rubbish on the ground [ or in the nearest creek ] The level of conservation awareness education in this country leaves a lot to be desired, unfortunately the powers that be are a product of this limited education. Very much a monkey see – monkey do situation.

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