Bye Bye Plastic Bags: The Movement that’s Making the World Plastic Free

August 5, 2016

Melati and Isabel Wijsen are two sisters who grew up on the beautiful green island of Bali. They’ve seen first hand the damage being caused to their island from excessive plastic waste, much of this being from plastic bags. I’ve touched upon why plastic is bad for the environment in my “Colombian “LEGOLAND” For the Homeless?” article which you can view here.

Concerned for the future of their surroundings, the girls took action to stop plastic bag pollution. After an unsuccessful petition to ban the use of plastic bags, the girls upped their game by going on a compromised hunger strike (by not eating from sunrise to sunset) which soon got the Governor of Bali’s attention.

What exactly is Bye Bye Plastic Bags? And how’s it helping the world today?

“Bye Bye Plastic Bags” is what it says on the tin. It’s an organization, set up by Melati and Isabel, aimed at banning plastic bags in Bali. However, the sisters don’t just focus on banning plastic bags. They also aim to educate everyone on why plastic bags are bad, believing it is easier to change habits if people understand the benefits to be gained by not using plastic.

Key achievements of Bye Bye Plastic Bags so far include:

  • The Governor of Bali agreeing to end the use of plastic bags by 2018.
  • The launch of a pilot “plastic bag free village” in Bali.
  • Giving local, unemployed women the opportunity to make an income from creating bags out of recycled newspapers which can be used as substitutes to plastic bags.

What’s more, “Bye Bye Plastic Bags” now has coordinators in many countries across the globe who are advocates for banning plastic bags in their own countries. The positive impact of the Bali campaign is now spreading around the world!

Want to learn more about their story?

Our CEO, Pawel Nazaruk, has been fortunate to interview the girls on the Better World International podcast. The interview covers an in-depth discussion about the “Bye Bye Plastic Bags” brand including why it was created and how it is successful today.

One of my favorite parts of the discussion is when the sisters suggest that if we all just look after the 1-metre area directly around us, then the world would be a much better place. We don’t necessarily always have to think about making big, powerful changes in order to have a positive impact.

Another key point of interest is when the girls provide their top tips on what you can do if you want to take further action to change the world. Follow these tips:

  1. Find your passion and go for it.
  2. Have a supportive team around you to help you achieve your aim.
  3. Set measurable goals.
  4. Never give up.

The podcast is definitely worth listening to and will inspire you to think of ways in which you can help make the world a better place. These girls have shown that if you want to make an impact, you will get there if you keep trying!

You can listen to their exclusive interview here and here:

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  1. How do you get 85% of people in England to stop using plastic bags - […] more about other plastic bag pollution in our previous articles about plastic bag movement or how Morocco banned plastic […]

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