Authorities in Bali have collected an estimated 18 tons of garbage, during a three-day coastal cleanup at the famous Kuta Beach. The waste consequently consisted mostly of plastic and tree branches washed ashore.
Officials from the Environmental Agency started collecting the trash on Sunday. The agency estimated that at least 6 tons of garbage had been collected on each day of the operation. The trash was transported on three trucks.
“We carried out [the clean-up efforts] starting on Sunday afternoon. This is a routine process that we have carried out for a long time,” Gede Dwipayana, the agency’s fast response unit coordinator, told the Jakarta Post.
Dwipayana explained that the trash flowed down rivers throughout the regency into the ocean. Much of the trash had been washed downstream in the increased precipitation of the rainy season.
Bali is one of dozens of islands in the archipelago grappling with the problem of marine and coastal litter.
Ocean trash from Indonesia
Research by the Ministry’s Environmental agency in 2017 estimated that ocean trash throughout Indonesia totaled 1.2 million tons. Above all it consisted mostly of plastic (31 per cent) and wood (30 per cent).
Although it is difficult to trace the origins of the trash on Bali’s beaches, analysts estimate that up to 80 % comes from the island itself. Garbage collected by workers at hotels and villages is reportedly often dumped in rivers. As a result rivers carry the waste to sea and onto island beaches.
Its also predicted that the volume of trash on the beach would increase over the next few months. Especially due to the rainy season, which typically lasts until April.
More garbage piling up
In anticipation of more garbage piling up, the agency had prepared a 12-person team to lead cleanup efforts. Especially at some of the island’s coastal areas, including Kuta Beach, Legian and Seminyak.
The garbage collected from Bali’s Kuta Beach would be taken to a “temporary dumping site” in Tuban, on the Island of Bali.