The reality of recycling in Bali
We all tend to put aside issues we can’t see. It’s human nature. If you are living in Europe or the US, it’s easy to not worry about waste and the amount of trash we produce as it simply goes away.
Of course, we sort our trash into organic and recyclable items and take it outside but that’s the end of it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen everywhere. Bali is just one of the many examples of a place where you can find trash everywhere.
There are many reasons for this, but the root reason is, in our opinion, environmental education. Indonesia is a newly industrialised economy; among other things, this entails that plastic is a relatively new product in the country.
Most of Indonesian’s produce used to be organic; meaning if it dropped on the floor it would biodegrade on its own, so a culture were things would be thrown out in a field or even the street was totally acceptable. That rule changes when plastic comes into action, only it didn’t change.
The government has never put any environmental plans into action; not an educational one, not a services one. There is a massive lack of trash bins around and most of them are over flooded. Recycling is barely an option as there isn’t a public service; there are private companies that offer the service for a monthly fee that equals about 10% of the minimum salary, therefore not quite a priority or even an option for many people.
Ever since moving here, we’ve been thinking about ways to give back to this beautiful island that has taken us in and we might be up to something…