In the new year of 2020, heavy rains flushed most parts of Indonesia and caused flooding. This time, heavy rains flushed Bali and caused quite severe floods, which resulted in a terrible impact. Last Monday, Wayan Suyadnya , a freelance tour guide & photographer based in Bali, made a post on his Instagram showing the crowds of Kuta beach, except this time the beach is not crowded by humans, but by trash. The trash was brought about from the flood that inundated the island of Bali.
Those who live in Bali decided not to stay quiet and start cleaning up the trash from December 31st until now. Those who are taking part in cleaning up the trash include Dinas Lingkungan Hidup dan Kebersihan Kab. Badung, Balawista Badung, Sungai Watch, Trash Hero Indonesia, The Mimic Movement, Trash Hero Canggu, and many other volunteers. Emma Batty was also spotted cleaning the beach with her friends from Bye Bye Plastic Bags. 70% of this waste consists of plastic waste such as drink bottles, straws, and used plastic bags.
The problem with plastic bags doesn't seem to reach an end unless they stop manufacturing or else find something degradable as their product packaging. Bali Livin' wrote a caption on their Instagram post, "It shouldn't be up to communities to clean up this trash... you need to step up: @cocacola with your bottles and Ades cups, etc??@lifeatdanone with your Aqua cups among others??@lemineraleid and your cups and @nestle, @pepsico, @unilever, @minumvit, @mondelez_international"
This situation also draws the attention of foreign media. Daily Mail UK wrote an article about the trash situation in Bali beaches. They wrote, "More than 30 tonnes of rubbish was removed on Friday from beaches in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak, but the next day the amount doubled to 60 tonnes." Wayan Puja, Badung's environment and sanitation agency stated that rubbish flooding in Bali beaches was a regular phenomenon at this time of the year due to monsoon season, but this year authorities say it has become worse.
The locals and NGOs, and other volunteers can keep cleaning the beach all day. The communities can keep brainstorming themselves to turn plastic waste into something valuable, but it wouldn't do much unless we all start to do something to stop. Companies need to start to find a replacement for their plastic packaging and us as a consumer to stop using single-use plastic.