I don’t know if you heard about the Ocean Viral News of the last weeks. Bali declared a ‘Garbage Emergency’. Why because many of the beaches, 3.5 miles of them, were full of beach trash. Due to storms, workers were picking up about 200,000 pounds of trash per DAY in one report and another report stated 100 tons of garbage will have to be removed every DAY. The Garbage Emergency meant that officials sent out 700 workers and 35 trucks to pick up trash. This is not a new, it happens every year in Monsoon Season.. the problem is, it is getting worse every year.
Marine Debris in Indonesia and Bali is not a new problem, I personally visited Bali and Java 3 times 10 years ago and would not go swimming due to the amount of trash in the water. Back in 2012 world re-known surfer Kelly Slater Tweeted “If Bali doesn’t #DoSomething serious about this pollution it’ll be impossible to surf here in a few years. Worst I’ve ever seen.”
Indonesia is one of the five countries which includes 1700 islands that contributes most to Ocean Pollution. This will not be an easy problem to solve. According reports, Indonesia generates 1.29 million metric tons of marine debris per year. That is akin to 13 aircraft carriers. They will have a huge job educating the public, building waste disposal resources, cleaning up illegal dumping, recycling facilities, garbage collection.
For Bali and other Indonesian islands, the ocean and tourism is their primary source of income. Tourists will not go to trash beaches. In 2014 Bali Tourist Income was estimated to be $5.5 Billion. (Jakarta Post)
I just Got To Eco You
- 22% of Bali’s income is from Tourism
- 21% of Bali’s income is from Fishing
- 240+ Tons of solid waste produced each day
- 60% of Bali’s water is drying up (Source)
- 3.22 million metric tons of waste annually by Indonesia, accounting for 10% of Marine Pollution.
- $1 billion US Pledged to curb ocean waste by 70% by 2025.
- 20 Million visitors Indonesia is planning to attract by 2020
- 2018 is the year that Bali is supposed to go Bag Free.
The good news is the Indonesia did respond to the Ocean Trash problem. Last year in Febuary (2017), the government made a commitment to reduce plastic debris by the end of 2025. They have developed a National Action Plan, to include citizens and schools. In addition the World Bank created a trust fund and Denmark is contributing $800,000 to help.
Indonesia, like every country is not alone in marine debris. Every person on this earth has a stake in cleaning up the oceans and water supplies and should not rely on governments and non profits to do so. Marine Debris cost everyone money and maybe if the public becomes aware of this, they would change their ways.
- Project Clean Uluwatu,
- Bali Beach Cleaners.
- Ocean Conservancy
- Alliance for Marine Plastic Solutions (AMPS)
- Trash Free Seas Alliance®,
- Inside Indonesia: An Ocean of Rubbish: How Bali is dealing with trash
- The Conversation: How Can Indonesia Win Against Plastic Pollution
- FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture: Indonesia
- Global Expat