Soon it will be my twenty-fifth birthday. Usually, in a celebration of one’s birth, presents and gifts are in order. However, this year, I want nothing more than to help the island of Bali. I came here with the expectation of gorgeous waves and beaches, greenery and rice paddies, friendly locals and spiritual ceremonies.
However, there is something more pressing, more disturbing. Something that prevents me from writing about any of the above. It is the trash. The plastic. The waste.
Look up “most polluted beaches in the world” and you’ll no doubt find Indonesian beaches on there. What happens in the rainy season is nothing short of a tragedy. All the trash that is thrown into the rivers, the gutters, the ocean… all flush down to the sea. The trade winds blow in more trash from Java. The infrastructure cannot support the 3 million visitors to Bali. This country has developed faster than it can handle due to tourism.
You may not be affected by plastic consumption, you may never be. But you CAN help those who face it on a daily basis. A 10 and 12-year-old here in Bali started a petition to ban plastic bags on the island. He, and I and all the surfers here are sick of paddling out in plastic rubbish, dirty diapers, cups, plates, spoons, bags, toys, helmets… you name it… it’s in the water. Infections in your ears and sinuses, trash hitting you in the face during a duck dive, bacteria seeping into open wounds… this is not what you want when you are in the ocean.
Sign the petition to BAN the use, sale and production of plastic bags here on Bali. It takes one minute and you will be a part of a massive movement to help an island that we (tourists) help destroy. Let’s give back.
This is our planet.