Nestled between the Pacific and Indian Oceans lies a tropical destination long considered to be a paradise. With abundant sunshine, sandy beaches, palm trees, warm, clear waters, world-class surfing, diving and....... TRASH! Lots and lots and lots of trash.
Now, if you were planning a trip to the island of Bali in Indonesia, this is not exactly the headline you want to read in a travel or surf magazine to entice you to make a decision on whether or not to visit, right? However, this is the current reality for the tiny island as it is somewhat of a "ground zero" for the larger ocean plastic pollution issue worldwide. With hundreds of thousands of pounds of man-made trash and plastic (most of it single-use plastic) flowing into the ocean every month, much of the island is awash in this refuse.
The future, however, may not look so bleak because there has been a realization by the local government that if they want to continue drawing people from around the world to their otherwise beautiful island, they must do whatever is necessary to help curb their ocean plastic pollution problem.
Enter the Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster. On December 21, 2018, he signed Ordinance (Pergub) Bali No. 97/2018 which aims to reduce the amount of trash and plastic littering rivers, beaches, and the ocean surrounding the island by an amazing 70% in its first year! Penalties and rewards have been put in place for producers, suppliers, distributors, businesses, and individuals to limit the amount of single-use plastic they produce and consume. Other areas of Indonesia, such a Jakarta, are now planning to follow Bali's lead with similar regulations of their own.
We couldn't be happier that this regulation has passed because it was a similar realization by two surfers on a surf trip to Bali not so long ago, that gave rise to 4ocean as a company. Fast-forward to the present and now 4ocean is doing our part cleaning the rivers, coastlines, and ocean on a full-time basis with the opening of the 4ocean Bali Headquarters.
Bali is intertwined in the DNA of 4ocean and we want them to know we are there to pitch in and help restore their incredible, vibrant island to all its amazing beauty. Each 4ocean recycled bracelet purchased funds the removal of one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines so you can do your part for Bali, too.
In our Meet the Team Blog Series, we will take a look at some of the 4ocean employees cleaning up the ocean and coastlines around the world. We all know the problem of ocean plastic pollution is a complicated one, but we have people like Captain Louie out there every day tackling the problem head-on!
Microplastics are on the menu for some of the smallest and deepest-living animals in the ocean. A study of amphipods from places like Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench shows they are eating these plastics at an alarming rate. Find out how this material is making its way to them and see what regular activity may be to blame.
Back in January 2019, a NOAA expedition to the subantarctic waters off Chili potentially documented a new species of orca alive for the first time in the wild! Perfect timing considering that the news coincides with the launch of our 4ocean Orca Bracelet (or maybe it's just coincidence), but either way, we are super excited to hear the news.