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Two girls continue campaign to stop plastic bags in Bali



Environment Updates

Bali produces 680 cubic meters of plastic garbage every day

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 February, 2016 - Last September, during TED Global London, Melati and Isabel moved their audience and received a standing ovation as they told the story of their ongoing quest to stop the use of plastic bags in Bali. Usually referred to as paradise, the island of the gods has fallen victim to its own beauty and is now facing ecological catastrophe.

Bali is producing 680 cubic meters of plastic garbage every day and is soon becoming, as the girls put it, a lost paradise. Not wanting to be bystanders to the destruction of their homes, the two young activists, inspired by a lesson of significant people, decided to start a movement they named "Bye Bye Plastic Bags".

Soon they formed the Bye Bye Plastic Bags team;  likeminded youngsters from different  schools around  Bali . Dynamic and doing many things at the same time, they focus on raising awareness through markets, street campaigning, festivals and beach clean ups,  

They spoke to more than 5000 students on and off the island. BBPB as they soon were named, runs a pilot villages and collect signatures, on line, through Avaaz.  It took lots of fun, hard work and campaigning  before the sisters became frequent visitors to government offices and manage to befriend the Governor of Bali, Bapak I Made Mangku Pastika, and convinced him and his team at the BLH (environmental department) to support their cause. Recently, an official commitment has stated to rid the island of plastic bags by 2018.

Three years after they began this journey, Melati and Isabel, 14 and 12 years respectively, received a standing ovation from an audience full of awed TED adults. But, it doesn't end with a TED TALK .

There is still al lot of work to be done. They just hope this talk can be a gateway of inspiration for all the youth of the world because "kids can change things". "Kids have the boundless enegrgy and motivation to be the change  the world needs today".

"Even though us kids are only 25% of the world's population, we are 100% of the future". Bye Bye plastIc bags has not only become an idea worth sharing by the official TED , but also becomes more and more an inspiration to others around the world.  

In less than 4 days, their talk hit more than 200,000 views and the government of Bali has vowed to use the video as a tool to promote and socialise the no plastic regulation. 

Tim Hain

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