Local environmental groups, including two teenage girls who formed the action group Bye Bye Plastic Bags, have stepped into action, organising beach clean-ups and information campaigns.
At the end of 2018, Bali also moved to introduce a ban on single-use plastics including shopping bags, Styrofoam and straws, with the aim of slashing the pollution of its waters by 70% with a year.
Professor Jessica Meeuwig, the director of the Centre for Marine Futures at the University of Western Australia, described the measure as a “fantastic step forward.”
“The challenge in Bali is that it’s a densely populated island, it’s a developing country and they don’t have all of the necessary infrastructure needed to manage waste,” she told the Telegraph.
“There are huge opportunities in Bali if they can put in place the systems to clean up the canals and rivers that go down to the ocean..and also reducing the amount of plastics in the economy,” she added.
A tourist tax could help fund environmental protection provided the right mechanisms were in place, argued Ms Meeuwig.
“If you can’t afford the equivalent of a couple of coffees or Bintangs [local beer] to help protect an environment that we all enjoy, then maybe don’t go there.”