English Corner

An annual phenomenon on Bali's south coast: mountains of plastic on the beaches. Picture: X / AFTR

Trouble with plastic waste in holiday paradise

The beaches in the south of Indonesian holiday island of Bali are drowning in rubbish. The reason is the monsoon, which washes plastic from Indonesia's rubbish tips into the sea. Guests and locals are understandably angry.

Fantastic beaches and turquoise blue water is how people imagine the Indonesian holiday island of Bali. But time and again, rainfall, strong winds and low tides turn this holiday paradise into a rubbish dump.

The worst affected areas are usually between Jimbaran and Legian. However, as the wind changes daily, beaches along the entire south coast of the island have been hit over the years, as reported by the newspaper «The Bali Sun».

This year the affected area is Kedonganan Beach, north of Jimbaran Beach, where an unprecedented amount of plastic waste washed up.

Clean-up work is slow

Speaking to reporters on the ground, Made Gede Dwipayana, marine debris evacuation detection coordinator for the Badung Environment and Hygiene Service, explained that around 100 clean-up workers were on duty. «They are trying to remove the rubbish that has accumulated over the last few days.»

According to Dwipayana, there have been delays. «Our original plan was to bring two heavy loaders to speed up the cleaning process. However, there were technical problems in the form of damage to the machine, which forced us to postpone the use of heavy equipment.»

According to Dwipayana, the phenomenon is not new: «It happens every year», he says. «If the rubbish from the West Wind is on Kedonganan Beach, it's definitely plastic waste. South of Jimbaran, it's wood waste.»

Not only employees from the environmental and hygiene service are responsible for cleaning the beaches, but also volunteers from the local population. They took part in the clean-up operations yesterday and today.

Several teams also joined forces in Canggu to ensure that Batu Bolong Beach is clean for locals and visitors. It is currently one of the tourist hotspots on the holiday island.