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Bali’s Plastic Less Campaign Gets Support of Ayana Resort and Spa

July 6, 2013 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

AYANA Resort and Spa Bali’s 950 employees have been encouraged to ban plastic bags in their households, as part of an environmental partnership with anti-plastic campaigner Tas Pasar (www.taspasar.org).

523479As part of its education outreach to hotels in Bali, Tas Pasar founders David and Ellie Eagles made a presentation to AYANA’s employees about the impact plastic bags have on waste levels and the eco-system at a General Session in AYANA Ballroom on 26 June. They also distributed 1,000 free reusable shopping bags to encourage use of these bags rather than plastic, and AYANA has placed posters and reusable bags in its employee canteen and lockers to reiterate the message.

This educational partnership is part of a broader Bali campaign run by Tas Pasar, which has so far distributed some 10,000 reusable shopping bags to shops, warungs and hotels around the island. Tas Pasar, which means ‘market bag’ in Indonesian, is hoping to enlist the support of more businesses around Bali, to reduce the use of plastic bags and thereby reduce plastic waste on the island. The campaign was started in September 2012 by Australian David Eagles and his Balinese wife Ellie, along with Balinese World Champion body builder Komang Arnawa and his wife Natalie. It now has the support of Solemen Indonesia Foundation and is expanding its outreach.

David, a long-term Bali resident, said he was tired of seeing plastic bags end up in the rivers and ocean of Bali, and wanted to do something about it.”Our data shows there are 2.8 billion plastic bags distributed in Bali every year, resulting in 1.5 million tonnes of rubbish which we often see end up in our oceans. So we make reusable bags out of spunbond non-woven fabric and donate them to small village shops and traditional markets to encourage vendors
to give them to their customers instead of plastic. Vendors save the cost of plastic bags and customers get a convenient reusable bag, so everyone benefits,” said David. “It started quite simply but it is really getting a lot of interest now. However, the program needs more support and funding to raise awareness island-wide and reduce plastic waste. We are a long way from our goal of making Bali plastic-free, but it’s a start!”

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AYANA’s Environmental Director Clive Edwards said Tas Pasar is an inspirational campaign that put words into action, and which deserves the support of every business on the island. “We have a responsibility to the local community in Bali to take care of the environment in which we work, and this is one of the core values of AYANA’s CANON service philosophy,” said Clive. “We take great pride in being contributing members of society, and we will continue to support the Tas Pasar program to encourage our staff and guests to avoid the use of plastic bags.”

AYANA is certified as an Eco Hotel by TUV Rheinland Germany, in recognition of its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint through environmentally sustainable practices. These include two water recycling plants, which have been in use for more than 10 years to recycle ‘grey’ and ‘black’ water for use on gardens and ponds, as well as composting program, waste management, energy efficiency,use of eco laundry products, and abstinence from using harmful chemicals and plastic bags. The resort does not use plastic bags for retail and other packaging purposes, and uses recyclable glass bottles for mineral water rather than plastic bottles.

Plastic bags end up as litter that fouls the landscape, and kills thousands of marine mammals every year which mistake the floating bags for food. Plastic bags that get buried in landfills may take up to 1,000 years to break down, and in the process they separate into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminate soil and water. Furthermore, the production of plastic bags consume millions of gallons of oil that could be used for fuel and heating.

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