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Bali declares 'rubbish emergency' as beaches are buried

10 January 2018 09:34

Bali's tourist trade affected by mounting rubbish on beaches

Bali's tourist trade affected by mounting rubbish on beaches

Bali has declared itself to be in a "rubbish emergency" after high tides drag heaps of plastic waste onto its beaches.

The island, which is one of holidaymakers' top destinations in Indonesia, risks having its beautiful shorelines ruined if pollution levels do not improve.

One 3.6 mile stretch of beach along the island's West Coast has already been listed as an "emergency zone" after officials noticed that the high levels of waste washing onto the sand was affecting the tourist trade.

Hundreds of tons of rubbish

Around 700 workers have been sent to the affected beaches, Jimbaran, Kuta and Seminak, to improve the situation. They have been moving as much as 100 tons of rubbish from the beaches each day.

Indonesia is the second biggest maritime plastic polluter, with much of what washes up on beaches coming from the Java Sea. Pollution is becoming an increasing problem for the country, clogging the cities' waterways and increasing the chance of flooding.

It is also incredibly harmful to the marine animals and wildlife that inhabit the area.

The indifference of many islanders and the inadequacy of municipal refuse collection are also problematic factors.

"It is awful. People just don't care - it's everywhere," one hotel worker said of the mounting rubbish.

"The government does something, but it is really just a token thing."

There are, however, plans in place to improve Bali's shorelines in the near future. In 2018, authorities plan to ban plastic bags, and are committed to raising awareness of the problem.

The government has pledged to reduce marine plastic waste by 70 per cent by 2025.

But for a country with 250 million inhabitants, the scale of the problem is enormous.

Travelling to Indonesia? Don't forget to secure watersports and activities travel insurance.