NOW! Bali Guide to Travelling Sustainably
If you love Bali, then as a visitor or even as a resident you can do your part to keep this island beautiful for years and years to come. Here’s our tips on how you can help!
Bali is a paradise island, enjoyed by visitors from around the world for its pristine landscapes, from terraced rice fields and dramatic, active volcanoes. However, as a major tourist destination, Bali now must face many modern-day problems.
A major problem in Bali – and around the world – is waste. Bali now produces up to 3,800 tons tons of waste every single day (Bali Environment Agency). 60% of this waste ends up in landfills which are already overcapacity and whilst there is now a growing awareness for waste management, still less than 7.5% of waste is being recycled or repurposed. The rest of the waste, well, many of it is seen washed up on Bali’s beaches every rainy season.
Fortunately in December 2018, a new regional law (Pergrub No.97 Tahun 2018) was issued, banning the use of all single-use plastics. These include plastic bags, styrofoam and plastic straws, banning the use as well as distribution of these items.
Whilst this is a very positive step forward, other plastic items are still in use and the law isn’t strongly enforced (yet). However, whether you live here or are just travelling through, you can help curb the effects of waste in Bali by following these 5 simple tips:
1.Bring your own bag
Whilst the law is in place, not everyone has put this into action, especially local markets and eateries. To make sure you don’t need a plastic carrier bag whenever you’re out and about, make sure to bring your own bag for shopping, take-away or groceries. Check out the handmade bags by I Want to Smell the Perfume, whose production also helps women’s empowerment in Indonesia (www.smelltheperfume.com).
2.Bring your own bottle
We know that water is important, especially when doing day trips around the island. However rather than buying bottled water, why not buy or bring your own reusable bottle and fill it up at your hotel or at home? Better yet, with the RefillMyBottle App you can find venues on the island that will allow you to top up your H2O (www.refillmybottle.com).
3.Think about what you buy
Unfortunately the regional law does not extend to packaging, be it food or consumer goods. So, when considering to buy a bag of crisps or cookies in the convenience store, maybe think again – do you really need it? Chances are this packaging will end up in landfill or worse, in the rivers or seas.
4.Eat out at restaurants
The same thing applies to food deliveries; unfortunately many restaurants still depend on some plastic packaging to send food safely and hygienically. So, whilst there are many great food delivery services and Apps out there, why not reduce any unnecessary waste and simply go out an enjoy the restaurant and its atmosphere.
The law is still relatively new so don’t be surprised if some businesses or establishments still provide you with single-use plastic. You can help educate the community though, by actively saying you don’t want a straw, a bag, a coffee stirrer or styrofoam or other plastic items you might be given. Say it outright before they give it to you.