UPDATE: Bali has finally instated the ban on single-use plastic on June 23, 2019! This is a great victory for envrionmentalists and activists. Let’s proceed with the article of two great activists who have fought for a plastic free Bali for years.
Founders and sisters, Melati (15) and Isabel (13) Wijsen started Bye Bye Plastic Bags back in April 2013 and have since then been having a huge impact on plastic bag usage in Bali and outside.
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.