BYE BYE PLASTIC BAGS, HELLO WORLD!

In This Is Green School

Oh wow! This year has been crazy great for the Bye Bye Plastic Bags (BBPB) team. Within just the recent months, the team has had so many adventures that have allowed us to grow, both as leaders and as a team.  Here are some of our most recent highlights:

  • BBBP TED Talk reached 1M views
  • Our Jakarta Trip, speaking to 2000 students, 3 Ambassadors and the Vice Minister of Environment and Forestry
  • The workshop on Marine Plastic Debris in South Sulawesi with over 100 government organizations
  • More inspirational visits with local Indonesians to spread knowledge on plastic issues
  • Workshop on Marine Plastic Debris in Makasar
  • Visiting local Indonesians to spread knowledge on plastic issue
  • Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit in San Fransisco
  • BBPB launch in 5 new locations: New York, Australia, Nepal, Myanmar and China
  • Bali Airport goes Plastic Bag Free
  • And, rekindling with the Surfer Girl brand

Recent Adventures in Indonesia

In the past few months, we have caught national and global attention about our initiative to band plastic bags. After our TED Talk video was released, so many people have reached out to us with amazing opportunities that motivated us even more.

One of these opportunities was a road trip with Green School board members to Jakarta, Indonesia where we spoke to over 2,000 students at three international schools. We also had the honor of meeting the Dutch, American, Norwegian Ambassadors and the Vice Minister of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia to talk about BBPB. They were all very supportive towards our initiatives and goals.

Speaking about talking with government officials, we were also invited to speak at Workshop on Marine Plastic Debris in Makassar, South Sulawesi, an event organized by the national government. During the event, we presented to over 100 respected government bodies from across Indonesia about marine debris, the solution, and how we see the young generation fitting into the picture. The outcomes will be determined in the next, more formal gathering, where Bapak Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia will be present. And guess what? BBPB team has been extended an invitation to attend this conference as well. So exciting!

Another event, which was truly life-changing for us, was our visit to slum houses along the rivers of Jakarta.  We met some truly wonderful local people who take action within their communities. They collect their own rubbish known a Bank Sampah (trash bank.)  During that visit, it dawned on us how much everyone is really willing and ready for a change.

After we got back from Jakarta, we had the chance to take action locally. We visited some neighbors of Bali, such as Nusa Lembongan and Lombok. We handed out BBPB educational booklets, and did a one-day knowledge sharing session with the communities, alongside the Coral Triangle Center who shared knowledge on the marine debris issue.

Going Global

Then, Melati and Isabel went to the USA for a presentation at the Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit in Monterey Bay Aquarium, SF.  It was an amazing experience. All the students who attended the summit had projects to showcase and every single one was focused on reducing the use of plastic. There were about 20 schools participating in this event — it was truly mind-blowing to see young people like us so motivated to make a change.

Speaking of the youth generation, we are thrilled to announce that BBPB has officially launched in 5 new locations across the globe; and we have many more wanting to start up. These are initiated by students who share the same goals as us, to ban plastic bags. This is super exciting! If you wish to know more about BBPB in these other countries, please visit their Facebook pages below:

BBPB-Global

BBPB NEPAL | BBPB NEW YORK | BBPB MYANMAR | BBPB AUSTRALIA | BBPB CHINA

And Most Recently…

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Just before Indonesian Independence Day, inspired by Bye Bye Plastic Bags, the Bali Airport declared their commitment to go plastic bag free!  Our team is so proud to have reached this amazing achievement. For two years we’ve been working with the Bali Airport, campaigning and collecting signatures in the departure gates. But now, we finally take it to the next level. Today we have the Bali Airport joining us in the “say no to plastic bags” movement. With over 16 million arrivals and departures each year, this airport has a goal to be the greenest airport in Indonesia – and they agreed that a good first step is to say no to plastic bags. We are endlessly grateful that our country and our island…are heading towards magical places.

SuardjanaAnd most recently, we met with our friend, Bapak Gede Suarjana, the Head of Environment Division of the Bali Provincial Government, to help raise more awareness on plastic bag issues across Bali. During the discussion, we shared our Educational Booklet and a copy of our Ted Talk with Indonesian subtitles. Bapak Suarjana shared his plan to evaluate the “paying for plastic bags” policy on June 5th. This evaluation will define the allocation of funds collected through plastic bag payments, and the possibility of increasing the price from IDR 200 to a minimum IDR 2,000.  We are so happy to share insights during these continued discussions and to learn more through the clarity of his vision about this plastic bag issue.

Oh, and we have rekindled our old friendship with the Surfer Girl brand. See how big our smiles are?

Surfer Girl

So what’s next for the BBPB team? We have a whole list of dreams and ideas planned for the rest of 2016. We want to inspire more youth around the world to take action in saying no to unsustainable living. Please visit our BBPB Facebook to stay connected and get regular updates.

Melati Wijsen

Co-founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags

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