Is Bali ‘Going Green’?

We have all seen the rubbish on the streets of Kuta, even watched tourists who just don’t care discard their unwanted items onto the footpaths. Moreover, most of us have seen the pollution at one time or another washed up with the tidal movement down at Kuta Beach. Even worse is the array of plastic bags stacked up in unsightly piles in various places out in the country.

Bali’s pollution is ‘tourist driven’ but it doesn’t mean that they are solely to blame. On the contrary, it seems to have become habitual just to discard rubbish hoping that it will eventually disappear. Unfortunately this is not the case. The biggest and most noticeable item in all this accumulated crap are plastic bags.

A while back I took a stroll through the Mangrove Research Centre at low tide and was appalled at the number or plastic bags tangled up in the roots of this environmentally important area. But, it’s not only there I have seen this.

A recent article in the Bali Discovery newsletter has shone a hopeful shining light on solving this plastic bag problem. According to the article, The provincial government of Bali plans to require supermarkets in Bali to supply cloth or paper bags and abolish the use of plastic bags. says the elimination of plastic bags at supermarkets in Bali is part of the “Bali Green & Clean” campaign promoted by the island’s administration.

Although this would be one step in the right direction it is still a long way from solving the pollution problem on such a heavily tourist-laden island.