Bali is part of yet another country that has decided to ban plastic bags. But, most surprisingly, such a wise and environmentally friendly decision was made thanks to two young sisters. We are talking about Isabelle and Melati Wiissen, who at the time of the beginning of the struggle for their beloved island were only 12 and 10 years old. They called their campaign Bye Bye Plastic Bags, and in order to attract the attention of compatriots and the authorities, they began a hunger strike. As a result, the whole world learned about them.
In recent years, Indonesia has begun to drown in trash. In Bali alone, about 700 cubic meters of waste was generated daily, of which a maximum of 35 managed to process. This situation arose for various reasons: the lack of the necessary equipment for garbage processing, the lack of culture among local residents and a huge flow of tourists. During the rainy seasons, non-biodegradable waste washed into the ocean to be washed ashore again, turning the beaches into trash heaps.
The girls respect nature and love Bali, so they were horrified by the thought that their beautiful homeland might simply not survive the garbage invasion. Once at school, Melati and Isabelle talked about benefactors such as Princess Diana and Nelson Mandela. The sisters wondered if they were able to change the world around them? What can they do right now? Without a word, they decided to start fighting pollution and came up with the Bye Bye Plastic Bags project.
To begin with, they organized a collection of signatures in favor of a bill banning plastic bags. However, even 100, 000 signatures did not convince the governor of the seriousness of their intentions. In his opinion, the formation of garbage was a completely natural phenomenon.
But the sisters did not give up: they went on a hunger strike, which they covered in social networks. The public could not allow the children to spoil their health and within a day they organized a personal meeting with the government for Melati and Isabelle. The governor changed his mind, expressed his gratitude to the sisters and signed a decree banning plastic packaging from 2018. It was a victory!
Today, Viissen regularly raids to collect garbage, give lectures on the environmental topic, distribute organic bags and disseminate information about their activities as much as possible. They drew attention to the media and even the UN.