What the tourists have seen is the exact opposite of what a travel magazine has been promoting as a pristine beach destination.
Bali’s pristine beaches, Indonesia’s main draw for tourists, are paradise. But days after the new year began, relaxing on the white sands of Double Six Beach and in the surrounding areas became impossible. An invasion came ashore, disrupting the placid waters with mounds of scattered trash — much of it plastic waste.
In fact, tourists took pictures of the popular holiday spot that is becoming unrecognizable due to the amount of trash splashed across the beach.
A tourist named Tanya, from New South Wales, shared numerous images online after she went to Jimbaran, on Bali’s southwestern coast, for sunset, but despite it not being the best weather, the condition of the beach was what shocked her the most.
“Jimbaran for sunset tonight. Not the best day for it but it’s our last night here,” Tanya said.
“No sunset to be seen and dinner at the cafe/restaurant was disappointing but nothing was as disappointing as the state of this beach….”
Another Facebook user Tracey Billingsley said Kuta was not the only sight impacted by litter.
“Blue Lagoon was even worse than this in August when we went up there for a snorkel even while swimming and looking around at sea life there was rubbish everywhere in the water … was a really sad sight,” Billingsley said.
One tourist shared a photo from Balian Bach west of Canggu where they had discovered piles of debris washed up on the shoreline that same day.
“There was some heavy rain last week which means the canals were inundated,” they said.
Others agreed that the trash was washing up more frequently and in larger volumes due to heavy rainfall and flash flooding hitting the region.
“Wind direction changes to an onshore pattern bringing rubbish from Java,” one user said.
“Heavy rain pushes rubbish out of rivers into oceans.”
In December and January, the entire east coast of Bali is inundated with garbage, with a small group of dedicated volunteers fighting a losing battle to keep it clean.
Tractors dumping garbage on sandy beaches is a common sight.
According to Badung Regency Environmental and Sanitation Service Marine Garbage Disposal Detection Coordinator Med Gede Dwipayan, 600 tons were collected in December.
On Christmas Day alone, 25 tractors were deployed to Kuta Beach to clean it up.
Some locals, however, are not well trained in recent beach cleanup procedures and resort to more short-term approaches.
According to AWM, folks online were shocked that Bali gets flooded with trash like this every year.
“Why would you go there when Australia has the best beaches in the world,” said a Sydney woman in the Facebook thread.
“This is why you don’t swim in the ocean in Bali,” one woman said.
“If you’re going to Bali for their beaches, then you’ve totally missed the mark!” a mom said.
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