The 23rd of June 2019 marked a big day in the plastic free movement, especially for Bye Bye Plastic Bags. The long awaited ban on single use plastic bags, straws and polystyrene on the island Bali finally went into effect. Since it was passed on December 21st, 2018, the island has been warming up to the final ban. Local supermarkets and restaurants have already started preparing by changing back to more traditional ways of packaging, such as banana leaf wraps.
Local teenage activists Melati (17) and Isabel (15) Wijsen started the movement Bye Bye Plastic Bags at the ages of 10 and 12, after being inspired by a lesson in school about significant people, like Nelson Mandela, Lady Diana, and Mahatma Ghandi. The sisters asked themselves what they could do to make a difference in Bali. In 2013, Bye Bye Plastic Bags was born and has since grown into an internationally recognised movement of inspiration, youth empowerment, and of course, saying no to plastic bags.
Successful GREEN founder Andrea Schaller met with the sisters last year at the 16th Alpensymposium in Interlaken, Switzerland:
The vision is to involve the local level authorities and village laws, as well as traditional laws, to support effective implementation on a local level. Furthermore, there will be another 6 months of intensive education and socialisations with communities and businesses across the island.
The Bye Bye Plastic Bags team celebrated the launch of the ban by visiting the governor´s office with cake and flowers to express their thanks.
Image credit: Bye Bye Plastic Bags