Shocking footage shows grim reality of Bali

Bali has long-battled a waste problem with recent footage showing just how bad it is.

Around this time of year, during the wet season, it has become all too common for tides of plastic to wash up along the southern coast of Bali in the Badung Regency.

It is where Bali’s most famous beaches can be found from Uluwatu to Seminyak and Canggu to Kuta, but sadly during the first few months of the year, its shores are littered with rubbish.

And the wave of waste that was swept in earlier this week has been described by local publications as “one of the biggest to date”.

According to The Bali Sun, a fresh tide of plastic waste was swept onto Kedonganan Beach in Kuta.

The beach sits just north of Jimbaran Beach and is located near the island’s Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport. It’s known for is spanning sea landscape and fisherman traditional boats, but this time of year exposes its grim reality.

And with tides of plastic waste accumulating in these areas before being washed into shore, there is no telling how much damage this is doing to the marine life beneath the surface, the publication reported.

Chairman of the Bali Kedonganan Boys Fishermen’s Group, I Made Gita Adnyana told reporters this week that the plastic waste on Kedonganan Beach and the surrounding waters is starting to seriously affect fishermen’s livelihoods.

“There is so much of it, and it disturbs the fishing boats, as the boats are parked on rubbish. Every day, the rubbish comes, and every day, I invite the fishermen to collect the rubbish so that it is piled up on the beach,” he said, according to The Bali Sun.

Social media has become inundated with footage showing fisherman and locals alike picking up the waste piece by piece.

“Almost the entire coast of the west side of Badung Regency, ‘inundated’ by sea garbage,” one post read with footage showing a man tossing waste in a pink bag.

Another post read: “It happened again, plastic waste sent from outside hit the west side of Kedonganan beach.”

Throughout the months of October to March during Indonesia’s wet season, plastic, garbage, and waste from shipping vessels are often carried into land by strong winds, high tides, and driving rains.

Bali Denpasar Centre for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics issued a tidal wave warning last week.

Some of the region’s most popular beaches saw a surge in waves, so it’s no surprise the extreme weather conditions have brought about an increase in more waste.

Indonesia is among the worst contributors to plastic pollution, with 200,000 tonnes of plastic washing into the ocean, according to a study published by the journal Nature Communications in 2017.

Australian man Philip Major, who is the owner of Aussie clean tech start-up Cyclion, plans to turn all the household waste in Bali into energy — a multimillion-dollar project that he’s already started in the Philippines.

It’s a venture that he’s put his life savings into as he’s determined to make a difference.

“I am moved every time I see large piles of rubbish emitting dangerous gases and damaging the health of families with young children,” Mr Major, from Brisbane, told news.com.au.

“Also, when I see beautiful beaches littered with rubbish or dead wildlife that have died from eating plastics.

“These are the things that have given me the determination to push through the challenges to see real solutions to make a difference in whatever way I can.”

Mr Major’s business converts household rubbish, including plastics, to fuel or electricity in an environmentally friendly way.

Late last year, the Indonesian government announced that part of the new tourism tax will be spent on waste management.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster said the funds would be used for “the environment, culture and [to] build better quality infrastructure”.

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