Bali used to be a favorite Travel destination, especially for Australian tourists. However, the iconic beaches have lost their charm because the idyllic waters have transformed into nothing but rubbish dumps. The filth consists of tons of plastic waste that wash up to finally settle on the beaches. These consist of bottles, bags, and an assortment of plastic that will remain for ages because plastic is non-biodegradable. On a rough estimate, the amount of trash collected daily is between 30 and 60 tonnes. These are from the most popular beaches of Bali.

The situation aggravates from December to March. That is the period when seasonal winds and heavy rain plays havoc with the waste and deposit them on the beaches. In the opinion of locals, the situation this year is critical due to Coronavirus and the lack of tourists. The beaches that are normally packed with hundreds of international tourists wear a deserted look. Simultaneously, the trash keeps piling up in spite of the best efforts by local authorities to remove the pollutants on a daily basis. They find it difficult to keep pace between plastic deposited and removed. One of the evils of plastic pollution is the ruining of marine lives in the ocean.

Daily Mail UK quotes an official lamenting - “We have been working really hard to clean up the beaches, however the trash keeps coming.

Every day we deploy our personnel, trucks and loaders.” Wayan Koster, Governor of Bali, urged the authorities to assign priority to clean up the beaches because they are tourist attractions.

Removing plastic waste is a major activity

The Governor of Bali advised the Badung administration to ensure availability of a suitable system to handle the trash at Kuta Beach.

It should have enough equipment and human resources. The intention should be to free the beach from the trash because they are eyesores. He mentioned during rainy season the systems should operate on a 24X7 schedule. Indonesia has to deal with unaccountable tonnes of plastic that enter the ocean. Hence, removing them to clean up the beaches is not an easy one.

Normally, during summer there is an influx of tourists from Australia. As global population rises, so will plastic waste in the oceans.

Arrival of tourists is on the decline but not plastic pollution

This year, there are less tourists. This is because of the coronavirus pandemic that has halted overseas travel. In view of the large number of deaths associated with the virus, Indonesia closed its international borders in April. The result is a crippled economy that depends on foreign tourism. Businesses reopened to Bali locals in July but there would be no foreign arrivals until at least January 14. Authorities have taken this action to prevent spread of the new strains of Covid-19 that have emerged in some countries.

In spite of these measures, the issue of plastic litter on the beaches will continue to be a matter of concern. England has banned single-use plastics like straws, stirrers etcetera.

Plastic pollution a major issue in Indonesia

In November 2018 a dead whale washed up near Kapota Island in Wakatobi National Park, near Sulawesi. It had more than 13lbs of plastic waste in its stomach. In April, the government of Indonesia launched a plan to reduce generation of plastic waste in the country. Its long-term plan is to cut ocean plastic waste by 70% by 2025 before attaining the target of going plastic pollution free by 2040. Bali is a popular travel destinations but the pandemic has dealt a severe blow to its economy.

An official admitted to a section of the media that reopening is critical to the island's economy. He explained - "The Covid-19 pandemic is the most devastating disaster for Bali tourism. It is much worse than the Bali bombings, both the first and the second, and worse than all the Mount Agung eruptions combined."