Bali Bans Single-use Plastics, to Cut Marine Pollution in 2019

The Indonesian island has announced a ban on single-use plastics including styrofoam, straws, and shopping bags.

Experts say that up to 80 percent of the trash on Bali’s beaches originate from the island itself.

In a bold move that reflects recent sustainability trends, Bali has announced a ban on single-use plastics such as Styrofoam, straws, and shopping bags. Provincial governor Wayan Koster hopes that the policy will lead to a 70 percent reduction in the amount of plastic waste found in local waters.

According to Koster, the new policy is aimed at producers, distributors, suppliers and business actors, including individuals, to downscale the use of single-use plastics.

They will have to substitute plastics with other materials—and those who do not comply will be penalized with administrative sanctions. December 21, 2018 marked the beginning of a six-month grace period before penalties take effect.

Experts say that up to 80 percent of the trash on Bali’s beaches originate from the island itself. This includes trash from hotels and villages, which have been dumped in rivers and eventually get swept back to shore by coastal currents.

Eventually, Jakarta plans to follow suit by banning single-use plastics as well. A survey by the Indonesia Plastic Bags Diet Movement found that more than 90 percent of the capital’s residents have agreed to cut down on plastic use, said Jakarta Environmental Agency head Isnawa Adji.

Possible measures include limiting drinking straws at restaurants and taxing plastic bags.

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