Did you know that sadly, Indonesia is the world’s second largest contributor of plastic pollution? Rapid economic growth and a lack of solid waste disposal infrastructures means that a lot of single-use plastics end up in the oceans, harming marine life and food systems.
However, not to fear—Indonesia isn’t simply standing by. From government initiatives to strong individuals fighting back, here are 4 ways Indonesia is tackling its plastic waste emergency head-on.
1. Plastic-Free Vision
As the world’s second-largest fishing industry, Indonesia is setting a positive example to other coastal regions of the world, by promising to reduce plastic in its oceans by 70% by 2025 and becoming plastic pollution-free by 2040. The Indonesian government plans to hit these milestones by substituting more single-use plastic items with reusable ones, and by getting creative and designing more recycle-friendly products. They also plan to improve waste infrastructure: more transportation, collection facilities, and better conditions for workers. Their plan is so crazy, it just might work.
2. A Learning Environment
Without public education on plastic waste management, the government’s efforts alone will not be enough to achieve a plastic-free paradise in Indonesia. Several NGOs aim to spread awareness to local communities, such as the Bali Environmental Education Centre and the Indonesia Plastic Bad Diet Movement. These organizations also offer mentorship programs to high school students, helping them campaign for waste reduction programs and the use of reusable water bottles.
A shoutout goes to our very own Coral Restoration Scholarship program, which provides Indonesian women with a chance to learn all about conservation and protecting our oceans from the damage of plastic pollution!
3. Kids For The Future
Luckily for Indonesia, its youth shines bright in their conservation efforts. Back in 2012, 10- and 12-year-old sisters Isabel and Melati Wijsen started the youth-led organization Bye Bye Plastic Bags. The advocacy of this organization, aimed at getting people to refuse single-use plastic bags, played a big role in the Bali government’s decision to ban all single-use plastics in 2018. Bye Bye Plastic bags continues to campaign for the elimination of plastics in our oceans and has spoken to over 50 000 students all over the world to inspire youth empowerment!
4. Volunteer Programs
It is extremely important that tourists do their part in managing Indonesia’s plastic waste emergency. Fortunately, there are programs all over the country where volunteers can help fight plastic pollution while learning about conservation. It is no shocker that our own Gili Shark Conservation program receives a notable mention in this category—through our continuous dives against debris and beach cleanups, we are eliminating some of the plastic waste from our shores and ocean floors.
Join Our Team & Make Your Next Holiday Count
For us, it’s not just about the marine life and sharks, we also care about the environment. We want to create awareness for the use of single-use-plastic and reduce the amount that’s being used on the Gili Islands.
Our dream was to create a project that would focus on maintaining the beauty of our home, & implement sustainable solutions for the development of Gili Air. We wanted to give something back to the island that gave us so much and create a plastic-free paradise for the generations to come.
We created the campaign Plastic Free Paradise to help the Gili Islands to become plastic free! Our aim is to educate locals as well as tourists and provide information about how you can leave nothing but footprints on beautiful Gili Air. Would you like to support our mission? Apply here to become part of our research team on Gili Air.