Buleleng coastline increasingly troubled by plastic trash

Garbage is not only a problem faced by Bali’s most developed southern region, the Buleleng regency on the northern side of the island has now begun to witness a growing problem with trash affecting its coastline. Every day, Buleleng has as much as 1,954 cubic meters of garbage, 25 cubic meters or 6.4 percent of which is non-degradable plastic trash. Sadly, most plastic waste produced by the regency’s residents ends up being dumped in the rivers and carried out to sea, thus polluting the regency’s coastline.

Buleleng, which is home to a population of 675,513 residents, has a 144 kilometer-long coastline. “Garbage is due to a lack of environmental awareness. We hope that through this activity we can start raising awareness among our people to take care of the environment and stop littering,” field coordinator Luh Gede Juli Wirahmini said on Sunday, on the sidelines of an environmental cleanup at a Buleleng river, the Bayuning bridge and the former Buleleng port area. The activity is part of the preparations for the upcoming anniversary of the regency’s capital city, Singaraja, where the port is located. The former port has become a popular recreational site for tourists.

However, Wirahmini acknowledged that the site had also become increasingly polluted with plastic waste from upstream. The pollution has not only resulted in the unwelcoming piles of trash but also the foul smell they emit. Wirahmini said that most residents were unaware that unlike organic trash, plastic trash was non-degradable material that required around 1,000 years to break down. Once plastic particles have broken down, they continue to pollute the soil and water.

Meanwhile, many residents also opt to burn their plastic waste. Wirahmini explained the danger of burning plastic, as the smoke contains dioxin, a chemical substance extremely harmful to human health. Ironically, the management of the former Buleleng port has not provided sufficient trash bins. In October last year, during a tourism festival along Lovina Beach, which is about 9 kilometers west of Singaraja, Buleleng Regent Putu Agus Suradnyana regretted that the accumulated garbage was the main obstacle to the regency developing its coastline as an attractive tourist destination.

Sunday’s cleanup included a lecture on garbage by a lecturer from Undiksha, Sukadi; a photo exhibition by the students of Undiksha fine arts education department; a theatrical performance by Komunitas Mahima; a contemporary bondres performance by Komunitas Rare Kual, as well as a performance by Ayu Laksmi and her music group Svara Semesta.

source : bali daily

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