Two teen sisters committed to banning plastic bags in Bali

Bye Bye Plastic Bags, a Social Initiative driven by youth to say NO to plastic bags.

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UPDATE: Bali has finally instated the ban on single-use plastic on June 23, 2019! This is a great victory for environmentalists and activists. Let’s proceed with the article of two great activists who have fought for a plastic-free Bali for years. Also, check out the Top Solutions to Plastic Pollution.

Founders and sisters, Melati and Isabel Wijsen started Bye Bye Plastic Bags back in April 2013 when they were 12 and 10 years old and have since then been having a huge impact on plastic bag usage in Bali and outside.

Bye Bye Plastic Bags founders and sisters, Melati (15) and Isabel (13) Wijsen

Image source: byebyeplasticbags.org

During their adventure, they’ve met with the UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon, they have signed an MOU with the governor of Bali, Bp. Mangku Pastika, to make the people of Bali say NO to plastic bags, gave a TED Talk in London, and much more.

A snippet from an interview with Forbes Indonesia:

The girls saw it firsthand in their favorite local beach, Seseh, which was, as Melati puts it, “swallowed up by garbage.” “When you’re at the beach sunbathing or going for a swim, you’re swimming with plastic, you’re sunbathing with plastic. There’s no escaping it,” says Melati.

Those experiences led them, in April 2013, to start Bye Bye Plastic Bags, when they were just 10 and 12. The two girls attend the Bali Green School, which promotes environmentalism, so their campaign was in keeping with the school’s mission. “The question became ‘who’s going to do something about it?’ We thought ‘why don’t we do something about it? Why don’t we stand up for our island?’,’” Melati says.

Sit back, relax and watch their 11 minute TED Talk to learn more

What the sisters are up to now

Melati and Isabel are continuing to educate people in Bali and around the world about the Plastic Pollution problems.

We cannot solve a problem that people are not aware of. BBPB raises awareness and educates about the harmful impact of plastic on our environment, animals and health while also sharing how to be part of the solution. Having spoken to over 20,000 youth and created 2 educational booklets aimed for elementary schools in Indonesia, education has a huge place in the heart of BBPB. 

Education Girls Bali Bye bye plastic bags

Image source: byebyeplasticbags.org

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