Who trashed Bali?

a beautiful beach in Bali, but is it a true indication of reality?


Carefully curated images mask the scale of the horrendous damage plastics have done
— Nick Pollock


Each year, the rainy season exasperate Bali's trash issues, washing large amounts of crap onto its shores. However, according to the Badung Regency Environmental and Hygiene Service (DHLK), the problem has reached a record this season. The head of DHLK, I Putu Eka Merthawan, told local news outlet Kumparan that the amount of waste discharged from the Badung shore lately has been the most recorded in 10 years, with 250 tons of garbage collected a day. Merthawan revealed that, by comparison, in previous rainy seasons 50 tons per day was collected. The stretches that are affected include the famous tourist beaches of Kuta, Seminyak, Petitenget, Batu Belig, Canggu, and Jimbaran.

Understandably, Bali's visitors have expressed disappointment towards the garbage-cluttered coastlines. This beach is filthy and doesn't match the pictures I saw on the web, complained Yuanhaiwei, a Chinese tourist. Yuanhaiwei had been looking forward to eating at Jimbaran’s famous seafood warungs while taking in the beautiful scenery. Local reports say that plastic and timber are the most common items, though coconuts shells, shoes along with other miscellaneous debris also have been collected. The source of the extraordinarily large quantities of waste is still under debate, although Merthawan supposes that some of it might have drifted from long distances given the strong waves of late.



This situation isn't a tragedy for Badung alone; it's a national disaster. Massive amounts of trash gather in the sea and come ashore on Kuta beach. Badung is a victim of garbage and the overuse of plastics. People might clean up around their local areas, but they throw the trash into the sea, so it's going to end up on Kuta Beach, he said, as mentioned in Kumparan. The DHLK continues to clear the trash, assisted by 1, 000 employees, 45 trucks and four loader units. Every new wave brings more garbage to the once breathtaking shores of Bail.

Let us hope that Governor Wayan Koster's ban on single-use plastics, and the ten dollar tourist tax aimed at maintaining Bali's environment and culture, will help improve this ugly situation. However, I doubt it will stop the trash.

The big questions of who trashed Bali remains unanswered.