Indonesia: Waste Recycling in Bali

Awareness among the Indonesian population concerning the dangers of uncontrolled waste disposal is very low - at the same time, the island state produces more and more waste. The Christian Protestant Church in Bali has realised the problem and is taking action.

Indonesia has a waste problem. The waste produced in the island state is growing at the same rate as the population. 4.1 million people live on Bali and produce 10,030 cubic metres of waste a day. This would fill four Olympic swimming pools. 13 per cent of waste - in other words 1,304 cubic metres - is plastic. The organisation of waste disposal and plastic recycling by local authorities is inadequate. Most of the waste simply ends up in gardens, rivers and lakes or is burnt. This gradually increases pollution in drinking water, the soil and the air and causes diseases. The Balinese government is attempting to tackle the problem with the "Bali Green and Clean" programme. The Balinese receive payment when they bring recyclable plastic and glass to collecting points called "waste banks", but the population takes hardly any notice of this offer since it is not accompanied by an awareness-raising campaign.

Recycled plastic made into bags

For this reason the Christian Protestant Church in Bali (GKPB) has started two projects in this area and intends to win over 1,000 parish members to participate by the end of 2018. "Dian Kristawati" gender work educates women all over the island and accompanies them and their families. The women learn how to compost waste properly and are trained to change their shopping habits, which goes as far as to avoid plastic. Another project focuses on families in the four districts of the GKPB to raise people's awareness of the waste problem and the possibilities of recycling. Both projects show the local population ways to earn money from the "waste banks" and to raise their living standards. In addition new products can be made from recyclable materials. As a result, project participants have been making bags made of recycled plastic for some time now.

The waste recycling projects on Bali offer Indonesians the possibility of earning money by actively practising environmental protection. They also learn new skills and self-confidence to start up their own small businesses and to lead a sustainable life.

Your donation helps to protect the environment on Bali so that the local people can achieve a better standard of living.

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