Monthly Archives: January 2018

A Garbage Emergency in Bali and How We Can Solve It


JANUARY 5, 2018

Over the winter holidays, hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists flock to the beaches of Bali, eager to enjoy the Indonesian island’s breathtaking landscapes and iconic temples. This year, however, sightseers may have gotten more than they bargained for: mass amounts of marine debris.

Last week, Bali declared a “garbage emergency” after some of the island’s most popular beaches were overrun with plastic waste. More than three and a half miles of shoreline were declared an emergency zone due to the sheer amount of junk on the beach: workers collected approximately 200,000 pounds of garbage each day at the peak of the cleanup.

Shocking as the situation may be, this is hardly the first time we’ve heard of Indonesia’s plastic problem. Just a few months ago, a photo of a seahorse latching onto a cotton swab off the country’s coast went viral. And in 2012, world-famous surfer Kelly Slater—whose company, Outerknown, has partnered with Ocean Conservancy on beach cleanups—warned his hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers that “If Bali doesn’t #DoSomething serious about this pollution it’ll be impossible to surf here in a few years. Worst I’ve ever seen.”

The Indonesian government and people are responding to the challenge. In February, 2017, the government pledged that it will reduce 70% of its plastic debris by the end of 2025. To do this, Indonesia has developed a National Action Plan on Marine Plastic Debris that contains numerous strategies and concrete plans on land, on coastal areas and at sea aimed at significantly reducing marine plastic debris from all of these sources. Reaching out directly to citizens, Indonesia will also integrate the issue of marine plastic into its national education curriculum. Additionally, the World Bank has created a trust fund to help Indonesia tackle the issue, with Denmark having agreed to contribute more than $800,000 to the cause.

But this is not one country’s problem, or fight. A 2015 seminal paper by Dr. Jenna Jambeck and several colleagues published in Science estimated that approximately 8 million metric tons of plastic waste flow into our ocean each year globally, threatening this delicate and interconnected ecosystem. While the authors estimate that more than half of it is now coming from five counties in Asia, including Indonesia, countries all around the world contribute to this flow, and if we don’t change our trajectory, more countries from Africa and Latin America will make the list as their populations and incomes grow.

Meanwhile, as illustrated by the Bali crisis, ocean plastic is not just a problem for the ocean and the creatures in it—it has direct consequences for communities and economies, and comes with real costs. In 2008, marine debris was estimated to have directly cost the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies approximately US$ 1.3 billion in impacts on tourism, fishing, transportation and insurance industries.

To solve the garbage crisis in Bali and elsewhere, all of us need to work together to create big, systemic change. Ocean Conservancy has made partnering with governments, NGOs, and the private sector to fight ocean plastic a priority, and we’re starting with Southeast Asia. This is why at the 2017 Our Ocean conference in Malta Ocean Conservancy and its partners, including the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, Closed Loop Partners, PepsiCo, 3M, Procter & Gamble, the American Chemistry Council and the World Plastics Council, announced an initiative to raise over $150 million toward improved waste management in the region. In September 2017, we also joined the Indonesian government to announce the launch of the Alliance for Marine Plastic Solutions (AMPS), in partnership with the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, to bring together private sector companies with local governments and organizations to catalyze on-the-ground solutions and accelerate opportunity to scale up projects that work. We believe it is through these types of collaborative, multi-sector efforts that we will make the most difference.

Indonesia’s fight against ocean plastic is likely to play a starring role in this year’s news cycle, as more and more people get engaged and look for solutions. With Indonesia hosting the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank, as well as the Our Ocean Conference, this year—where marine debris will undoubtedly be center stage—there is an opportunity to engage everyone from finance ministers to school children on this issue, and move toward truly global solutions.

All to say, we have reason to be optimistic that 2018 is the year Indonesia and the rest of us really stem the tide on ocean trash.

Posted by tristan

A Bali scavenger bedridden for 8 months after stepping on a used syringe


(translated from Indonesian by Google translate)

Arik Can not Wake Up For 8 Months After Stepping on a Syringe at a Mountain Trash

Tribunnews.comUpload Date & TimePublished 15/01/2018 13:50

TRIBUNNEWS.COM, Denpasar – Holding iron and wood, Arik hit hard on the sole of his foot many times. Scavengers at Suwung landfill are working hard to remove the hospital syringes that reside in the soles of his feet.

This 55-year-old man just realized his feet punctured used syringes after five hours of guerrilla search for recyclable waste in the landfill area of ​​32 hectares. He did not expect the mound of waste landfill that he had pushed using the foot turned out to contain used syringes.

“Whereas I have used the shoes, but also translucent,” said this man from Jember when interviewed Tribune Bali, Thursday (4/1/2017) afternoon, at TPA Suwung.

The incident was experienced by Arik at the end of 2016 ago. Although it has been more than a year, but the experience has made Arik traumatized to this day. Because, after being stuck needle used the syringe, Arik could not wake up for eight months.

“The next day after I got punctured, the morning my leg started to swell. When I use the road, I collapse. Finally I went back to Jember. Can not work eight months. It really suffered me for eight months, “said the man who has been a scavenger at the Suwung TPA since 20 years ago.

Initially, Arik was given injections by a doctor who is based in the Suwung TPA area. But the drug did not work. Arik decided to stop scavenging. In his hometown, Arik had also come to a doctor practice. At that time, he asked for the most effective medicine for his legs to recover soon. Although already given a drug injection is efficacious, but the pain that happened at that time only lost for a moment.

“After the medicine runs out, the pain reappears, and returns swollen. Finally my friend told me to use hot therapy treatment. I tried, three times the therapy I finally healed and returned to work, “recalled Arik.

Arik is one of many scavengers at the Suwung TPA who had been exposed to a used needle puncture while working for garbage.

Understandably, medical waste such as syringes, infusion, infusion hoses, blood bags, and medicine bottles are freely thrown away at this landfill located in Pesanggaran, Denpasar.

Although not as much as in previous years, to this day there are still hospitals who dispose of medical waste into the Suwung TPA. Even found medical waste that still have the name and stamp of the hospital.

“If the previous years wah many here there is a needle, a blood bag. It’s still there now, but it’s getting smaller. Not like before (before 2017), “said Arik

Search results Tribun Bali during the last week, there are still medical waste disposed in the TPA Suwung. Medical waste belonging to hazardous and toxic materials is apparently still free to be disposed of at the landfill. A number of scavengers also claim average still often find the medical waste disposed in this largest landfill in Bali.

“Last night there was a waste,” said scavenger who claimed to see firsthand medical waste dumped into the landfill Thursday (4/1/2017) at around 01:00 pm.

At the beginning of October 2017, right on the west side of the site into the garbage disposal area, medical waste such as drug traces, intravenous bottles, used bandages filled with blood, and injection syringes scattered. Allegedly at that time the medical waste has recently been discharged to the landfill, because the condition of the garbage is still clean alias has not contain much mud and soil.

Earlier, around the end of August 2017, a pile of black and yellow crackle bags was also spotted around the landfill site at the Suwung TPA. Not just any garbage, inside the crackle bag there is also a bottle infusion, syringes, remnants of medicine, and used bandages, and hand slop containing scattered blood. Two scavengers seemed to invade the medical waste.

“Clearly sold if this garbage,” said a scavenger who was reluctant to name his name dikorankan.

When the Tribun Bali tried guerrilla warfare between the Suwung TPA mountains, early this January, looking at the top end of this TPA, precisely on the east side, a number of heavy equipment are working to dredge the newly arrived and disposed of garbage.Tribun Bali also tried to approach a number of garbage dredge workers who work at disposal sites. At that time the Tribune Bali pretended to be a hospital official who was about to dispose of medical waste using a pickup truck. (I Wayan Erwin Widyaswara)

Posted by tristan