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.