We were delighted to be featured in a National Geographic article on plastic waste discussing the issue specifically regarding Bali.
As you would know, Re>Pal used to have a plant in Bali, this was a successful test plant and following the decision to relocate the factory to Pasuruan in 2016, Bali was closed. Given our connections there and that we do also use waste from Bali, we were featured in this article. The issue of plastic waste in Indonesia is a really a national issue, not one that is restricted to Bali. It is an issue President Joko Widodo has vowed action on.
The National Geographic article highlights that Indonesia generated 3.2million tonnes of plastic in 2010, 50% of which ended up in the oceans and concluded that plastic waste is currently not well managed in Indonesia. At the same time as the growth in waste, tourism has exploded in Bali, with 38% of all tourists to Indonesia visiting Bali. Obviously visitor numbers and waste generation are numbers that go hand-in-hand, but this also means that without solutions to the waste issue, tourism will ultimately be affected and so damaging the Indonesian economy. Looking at all waste within Bali, 44% of waste was landfilled, with only 4% recycled and 52% was ‘mismanaged’.
Bali has banned plastic bags and straws, but this is the tip of the iceberg for plastic generation. The key to circularity is education and making drop off points for plastics easy and available. Companies such as EcoBali are helping in this regard. With access to more separated plastics, Re>Pal is one solution to the issue of reusing waste, and upcycling it. The bigger issue in Indonesia and in other countries is the effective and coordinated collection and separation of waste, and coordination with businesses that can use the waste streams created.