“Welcome to Bali! Would you please try not to use plastic bags?”
Have you traveled to Bali, Indonesia recently? If so, you might have received this greeting at the airport. It probably comes from Melati Wijsen and her sister, Isabel. For six years, they have been working to get plastic bags banned from the tourist destination.
Indonesia is one of the largest plastic polluters in the world. Melati and Isabel grew up in Bali. Every day, they saw the negative influence of plastic. “The problem was very serious. We thought, ‘Well, who’s going to do something about it?’” Melati said.
One day, Melati and Isabel had a lesson about making positive changes. The girls thought about what they could do as kids. In 2013, they started the “Bye Bye Plastic Bags” organization.
That was only the start of Melati and Isabel’s story. Over the years, the sisters have talked about plastic pollution around the world. Their effort caught the attention of the government of Indonesia. The government decided to help local people say no to plastic bags. Today, Bali has become a much cleaner “paradise”.