From the Field: Plastic Waste: Stop Killing Our Oceans

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Date Aired: March 23

“Paradise on Earth” Bali Faces Danger

Indonesia’s tropical island of Bali, a popular destination for Japanese tourists, faces severe crisis.

Bali, Indonesia is known as “Paradise on Earth.” What is happening to their beaches?

Waves recede, revealing a large amount of garbage, most of which is plastic. The beaches are littered with plastic waste, including straws and plastic bags.

Plastic waste is negatively affecting the tourism industry.

Bali’s municipality has declared a “garbage emergency” on Kuta Beach and others. Every day, 700 cleaners, 25 trucks, and 4 heavy machines are deployed for clean-up efforts.

This is video footage from a British diver, taken near Bali island. Where does this large amount of garbage come from? We asked a specialist.

According to Dr. Hendrawan, each year during monsoon season, 30-50% of garbage from the Indian Ocean washes up on Kuta Beach due to winds and currents.

There is also an issue on Indonesian side. Based on research by an American team, Indonesia disposes 1.3 million tons of plastic waste annually into its seas, making it the second to largest country in terms of disposing waste into its seas. This is a landfill on Bali. You can see garbage piled high.

This final landfill, with an area equivalent of seven Tokyo Domes, receives 1200 tons of waste each day without adequate infrastructure for proper disposal. In an effort to address the issue, Indonesia’s government has imposed a fee on plastic bags in certain cities, but it was short lived.

Dr. I Gede Hendrawan pleads, “This is a global issue not limited to this island.”

Plastic waste is destroying paradise. We cannot waste any time.

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