F*CK YEAH! Bali Says Bye Bye To Plastic Bags
2018 is the year that we finally saw big changes happening for a sustainable Bali, all thanks to two, brave young voices.
Meet the 13 and 15 year old duo fighting to sustain Bali’s rich natural habitat and co-founders of Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Isabel and Melati. The youth’s determination and motivation to eliminate plastic has seen them speaking at TED talks and United Nation Conferences, as well as, meeting with the Bali Governor. All of which assisted in the biggest win of them all, the day Bye Bye plastics announced that Denpasar’s shopping malls would be removing plastic bags from stores come the 1st of January, 2019.
It all started when the two girls saw their local beach, Seseh get “swallowed up by garbage”. With the ocean infested with multiple plastic items, they knew action needed to be taken. With the motto, ‘If you want something done, do it yourself’ ringing true, the girls did just that - they took action! So in April 2013, Bye Bye Plastic Bags was born.
Bye Bye Plastic Bags started sharing their mission and message by speaking to their peers at various schools across Bali urging them to become more aware of their plastic use and partake in beach-clean up days. The girls also garnered the attention of the Balinese government by collecting over 100,000 signatures to ban plastic bags in Bali, as well as partaking in hunger strikes in protest. After a lot of blood, sweat and tears (not literally) the duo eventually met with Governor Made Mangku Pastika to discuss their vision for a plastic-free Bali. In March 2015, the girls received a letter from the Bali provincial government environmental agency stating that Bali would be plastic bag free by the end of 2018!
Fast forward to 2018, shopping malls are set to remove plastic bags from stores and the girls are continuing their mission to educate people and eliminate plastic from their homeland. They’re now working on educational booklets aimed at school students to educate their peers on using sustainable products, waste management and pollution. This is only the beginning for Isabel and Melati and we cannot wait to see what environmental impacts that will be making next.