Bali’s ‘traditional villages’ must take up role in reducing plastic waste on the island: Environmental Agency

Packs of bags on a shelf at a plastic shop in Kerobokan. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Packs of bags on a shelf at a plastic shop in Kerobokan. Photo: Coconuts Bali

The provincial government of Bali says the island’s traditional villages, known as desa adat, must take a more crucial role in helping reduce plastic waste on the island, as officials plan to speed up implementation for existing regulations on the issue. 

“We must be tough. It means that we need to move for real now, continue to socialize [the regulation]. We will rebuke those who are late so they can speed up their implementation,” I Made Teja, chief of Bali Environmental Agency, told Bali Post earlier today.

Teja explains that implementation of the 2018 gubernatorial regulation, which bans single-use plastics in Bali, is still facing considerable challenges. 

“Our problem is with traditional markets,” Teja said, adding that the awareness must come from both the sellers and customers. 

While the use of plastic has seen some great reductions in supermarkets across the island in the past year, single-use plastics are a lot easier to find in traditional markets in comparison.

In theory, there is another piece of legislation the 2019 gubernatorial regulation on waste management that could support the regulation from the year before, with the ultimate goal of reducing plastic waste on the island. According to Teja, traditional villages can play a role in this matter, where they must firmly uphold the rules as laid out. 

Teja said his agency will work closely with the Traditional Village Promotion Agency, which was established just last year, to encourage these villages to issue pararem, or traditional law, on the waste issue, according to a report from Tribun.

“The main point lies with each village doing their respective waste management, that’s it. If that goes well, we’re good,” Teja said.

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