Ah, Bali … its white sand beaches, its volcanic reliefs … and its hundreds of marine litter. The splendid turquoise waters of "the island of the gods" look more and more like a plastic discharge . Rich Horner is the witness. An amateur diver, he filmed in March 2018 one of his marine trips to Manta Point, on the small island of Nusa Penida. The waters of this island in the Balinese province are usually popular for their rich manta rays. The tourist had the unpleasant surprise of being in the middle of a bench of plastic waste. On Facebook the Briton comments his video with a sarcastic message: "The currents of the ocean brought us a beautiful gift with jellyfish, plankton, leaves, branches, palms, stems, etc. Oh, and plastic. " The image is impressive, especially when a manta ray and a jellyfish cross the field. And the diver to bid: "Plastic bags, still plastic bags, plastic, plastic, so much plastic!"
And these wastes represent only a part of the iceberg. Gede Hendrawa, researcher in oceanography at Udayana University in Bali, pollution alert on a smaller scale. "Wastes disturb the tourists from an aesthetic point of view but the problem of plastic is much more serious than that: microplastics can contaminate fish which, if eaten by humans, can cause problems health like cancer ".
The diver's experience is far from a single episode. It highlights an already well-known phenomenon in Bali, whose reputation pales by the growing presence of rubbish on its beaches. Local authorities have declared the island of 4 million inhabitants in "state of emergency waste" in November 2017. Nearly 700 cleaning employees and 36 trucks are mobilized every day. the shore of Kuta Beach. The problem, however, is of greater magnitude: Indonesia is the second largest producer of plastic marine litter after China. This represents 1.29 million tonnes thrown into the sea every year! With its 17,000 or so islands, the largest archipelago has pledged in 2017 to the UN to reduce its marine pollution by 70%. Manta rays will appreciate the gesture.