Bali is a tropical paradise but to the tourist it can also be easily perceived as a plastic rubbish dumping ground. This is especially evident on Bali’s beaches. However this may now be a thing of the past if two young Balinese sisters have their way. The two sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen are the driving force behind the environmental warrior organisation ‘Bye Bye Plastic Bags’. The organization is striving to get rid of the use of plastic bags in Bali so as to reduce and eventually rid Bali of its pollution and the two young girls have gone to some extraordinary lengths to get that happening.
For example in a bid to try to speak with the Governor of Bali Made Mangku Pastika about the pollution and plastic bag use in Bali they hand delivered letters everyday but still to no avail. The girls did not want to give up so they looked to their role model Mahatma Gandhi for inspiration. Like Mahatma Gandhi once did they started a viral social media campaign of which was based around a hunger-strike during daylight hours, also known as a mogok makan in Indonesian. It only took two days for the Governor to get their attention and they were summoned to speak to him.
Fortunately the Balinese government jumped on board and with the help of the Bali Provincial Environmental agency there is a milestone to have Bali plastic bag free from 2018. It was a great achievement for the two young girls, a simple idea with a truck load of passion and persistence to match has culminated in one of the greatest promised environmental wins in the past decade. Lets hope that the passion and driving force to clean up Bali continues and spreads to other parts of the world where plastic bags have had a detrimental impact on marine flora and fauna.