Bye Bye Plastic Bags!
February 15, 2017
Be the change you want to see” – Isabel WIJSEN
Fact: Bali. 680 cubic meters of plastic garbage is generated each day. Only 5% of it is recycled.
Wish: Bali. An island free of plastic bags.
While many dream this dream Melati and Isabel, now 13 and 15 years old are realizing it.
And the road is a long one…
At their age most of us were playing with our friends after school, doing our homework or arguing with our siblings… These two little girls were launching an important social initiative for their homeland.
In April 2013, after an inspiring lesson in class about world famous individuals like Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Ghandi, they decided that there is no age limit in order to have an impact on society.
And so “Bye Bye Plastic Bags” was born.
Between 20 to 35 kids have now joined the movement and their impact is growing bigger and bigger, even crossing national borders.
From local initiatives like clean-up beaches, to a Ted Talk in London, through promotion and distribution of reusable and organic bags, the support of personalities like Ban Ki Moon or the creation of petitions to be signed by one million people, the two sisters are taking their project up to a very high level.
With a great deal of perseverance, they managed to convince the commercial manager of Bali International Airport to have access behind the customs and immigration area to reach more tourists and collect more signatures for their petition.
Taking inspiration from Gandhi, they also went on a hunger strike to be noticed by the Government so it would take action for the environment. After less than 48 hours into the strike, the Governor of Bali agreed to meet them to talk about how to stop plastic bags in Bali.
In June 2015, thanks to their tenacity, the Governor has committed to free Bali from Plastic bags by 2018.
But the Wijsen sisters also know the importance of educating the local population first. Bye Bye Plastic Bag Free is working on an educational program to spread to schools and communities to teach them how to make their own reusable bags, in short how to become sustainable.
You can learn more on their website http://www.byebyeplasticbags.org/.
In 3 years, the young girls have done an amazing job to help their environment and protect their land. They have declared that they’ll never stop until plastic bags are illegal in Bali.
And they are trying to motivate and incite kids from all over the world to join forces with them and implement this idea wherever they feel there is a need to it.
Melati and Isabel finished their Ted Talk with this beautiful and motivating statement.
So to all the kids of this beautiful but challenging world, go for it! Make that difference! We are not telling you it’s gonna be easy, we’re telling you it’s gonna be worthy. Us kids may only be 25% of the world’s population but we are 100% of the future”