20 Feb Bali’s Biggest Clean Up: Raising Awareness on Ocean Plastic Pollution 

CTC participated in the 6th Annual Bali’s Biggest Clean-Up by organizing a local event in Sanur this year. Together with local community group and private sectors, in just 30 minutes, we collected 49.25 kgs of non-organic trash and prevented it from being ended up in the ocean.

The event was held on February 20, 2022 starting from 07.30 to 08.00 in the morning. Aproximately 45 people, coming from various groups and organizations such as local community members of Banjar Semawang in Sanur, Intercontinental Hotel and Resort Sanur, Sustainable Suzy and ecoSmart HUB Bali, participated in the event while respecting the community activity restrictions (PPKM) regulations by wearing face masks and keeping the safe social distance from each other.

During the event, each participant equipped with gloves and a recycled trash bag, was assigned to collect non-organic trash found on the Kusumasari Beach for around 30 minutes. After the time was up, they weighted the collected trash and segregated each trash based on seven categories set by CTC such as single use plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic packaging, plastic bottles and cups, plastic straws, Styrofoam and other waste. Later, CTC staff conducted the waste audit and sent them to the recycling stations owned by the Intercontinental Hotel and Resort and Banjar Semawang.

“CTC is proud to participate in a big event like this. We also gained a lot of supports from local communities and private sectors. It is important to have this kind of event happening each year as an outreach to wider publics to care for our oceans and keep the marine animals and ecosystems safe from threats of plastic waste,” said CTC Executive Director Rili Djohani after the clean-up.

According to the waste segregation results, other waste made up from combination of metals, textiles, rubbers, glasses, and face masks took the biggest chunk by 66% (32.5 kgs) followed by Styrofoam (16%) and plastic packaging (9%). Surprisingly, plastic bags and plastic bottles were not as dominant as last year’s results. This year, both kinds of plastic waste weighted around 4 kgs, or 50% lower than 2021’s figure of around 8 kgs.

The decreasing number may be due to the regulation issued by the Bali Provincial Government which prohibits single use plastic bags. Since 2019, traditional markets, mini-markets and supermarkets in Bali have no longer provided plastic bags to their customers. Consequently, people in Bali must carry their own reusable bags, usually made by textiles, when they need to go for groceries.

The Covid-19 pandemic, however, has had an adverse impact on the increasing amount of Styrofoam and plastic food packaging waste. Restrictions on people’s movement in traveling outside their homes are thought to have increased the intensity of ordering and delivering food online. Many restaurants in Bali still use materials that are not environmentally friendly, such as Styrofoam, to package their food to consumers, which eventually contribute to the total trash amount.

Regionally, the plastic packaging also topped the total waste collection at the 6th Annual Bali’s Biggest Beach Clean-Up. According to the media release from One Voice One Island as the event coordinator, the pandemic has increased the use of plastic packaging in general. This situation is worsened by the fact that 28.1% of people in Bali are still clueless about the proper waste management and where their waste will end up. Therefore, more public educations are crucial to tackle down this big task.

Since early 2021, CTC has commenced a zero-waste management initiative at the Center for Marine Conservation. Gradually, all CTC staff have separated their waste into three categories, namely plastic, paper and organic waste. CTC collaborates with Eco Bali to recycle plastic and paper waste, while organic waste is processed into compost to support CTC’s permaculture garden at the Center.

Photo Credit: Yoga Putra/CTC

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