Taking Action Through Beach Clean-Up

ecoBali talked to two women who decided to lend a hand in the waste problem plaguing Bali’s coast


Japan is a very zero-waste-conscious country. We posted before about the little town of Kamikatsu that sort their waste down into staggering 34 categories, but in general, there are only four bins available across Japan.They are divided into Combustible (paper, plastic bags, and other plastic containers); Incombustible (for plastic cords, hoses, ceramic wares, metals, glass, and small appliances); Oversized Garbage (home furniture); and Bottles & Cans.

Two of its citizens are now residing in Bali: best friends Chieko Frank and Mika, and they remarked that Japan has only been stricter regarding waste management in the last 15 years. “Even though Japan still has the same problem, but at least now the government is much stricter and as a result, it’s much cleaner compared to 40 years ago,” says Chieko.

“In some of the towns, like my hometown, Yokohama City, they don’t install bins in beaches and public parks at all,” Mika says, who’s married to a Balinese and been living here for 14 years. “They don’t want the waste to be mixed and they want people to bring them home so they can separate them into the proper bins. There was this one time when someone didn’t put their waste into the proper bin, people from our local version of the ‘banjar’ [local council] come knocking at their door to tell them what they have done and they would not collect the waste.”


And thus they try to take action over the waste problem in their new home here in Bali: every Tuesday at 5 PM, they hold a beach clean-up in Berawa (the starting point in front of Finns Beach Club). “And that’s why I also use independent service like ecoBali—which I think more people should know about—and it has been good because now I am recycling my waste. I know that the local government has their own waste management system but it will go to landfills. As for my kitchen waste, I give them to my housemaid because she has a pig farm.”

There are many ways that we can do to ensure that we lead a zero-waste lifestyle, and being responsible with our waste, and making the concerted effort to reduce our production waste, are some of the ways to accomplish it. Another way is to lead by example: recycle your recyclables, compost your biodegradables, reuse or repurpose your old stuff, create a waste bank, use reusable shopping bag, drink without straws, and join—or hold your own—beach clean-up and pick up a waste if you don’t like what you see.

“We realized that the effect might be small, but at least when you help pick up a trash—it’s action, and it gives me hope,” says Chieko.

To know more about Chieko’ and Mika’s beach clean-up activities, check their FB page, @canggubeachcleanup.

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