We love Indonesia – it is quite simply the ultimate surf destination: nowhere else on the planet has surf a wealth of waves in all shapes and sizes, that fire so regularly and so perfectly. Plastic pollution endangers paradise, but there is hope: Indonesia’s government just took important steps to free the ocean from plastic.
Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia – scientists, CEOs, entrepreneurs and governmental officials came to the island to attend the fourth World’s Ocean Summit. After China, Indonesia is the second biggest contributor of plastic waste in the oceans. According to the Regional Board for Waste Management (BPLHD), Indonesian cities generate huge quantities of waste, in Denpasar 10,725 tons per day. The extent of the pollution is massive and self destructive – particles are swallowed by marine animals and are already on our dinner plates.
Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs announced: Indonesia has pledged up to $1bn per year to reduce marine pollution. Pandjaitan promised that Indonesia would target a 70% reduction in eight years with measures such as biodegradable materials like cassava and seaweed to produce plastic alternatives, a nationwide tax on plastic bags as well as a public education campaign. (source: The Guardian)
Indonesia doesn’t need an introduction as a surf destination. It’s the most wave rich place on the planet – sometimes it feels like there’s a break around every corner. But it’s about more than just the surf though – the culture is fascinating and the living is good. The water and the air is warm, the food delicious and cheap, the culture vibrant and exotic… From tourist hotspot Bali to the wild reaches of the Mentawais Islands, you could spend a lifetime exploring Indo and still find something new on your next trip. Perhaps this is what makes it so addictive – no matter how many times you visit there’s always another incredible experience just around the next corner. But the tourism is not spared from pollution and especially the surfer who spends so much time on the beach and in the water is directly and literally hit by the plastic in the ocean.
It is a long and difficult path to reach that 70%. Nonetheless, the money is granted and the focus is set to keep Indonesia beautiful and clean as we all love it. You want to get involved? Check Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Avani Sustainable Disposals or Nazava Water Filters.