Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chemical Baggies

Today we drive to Candidasa for a few temples and some snorkeling. So Mark and I collected plastic garbage on our regular running route this morning. There is a real problem with plastic garbage on the island. The Balinese used biodegradable containers and wrappings for centuries (banana leaves etc.) and they composted after use. Now they use a lot of plastic (though not as much as the average American) but have continued to toss their waste aside.
The waste we gathered (about 20 lbs in two miles) consisted of plastics bottles, individual candy wrappers, individual hygiene product wrappers, and a large number of small clear plastic bags that the farmers use for agricultural chemicals -- chemical baggies.

What we did not find were any condoms, needles, aluminum cans, or any broken high end plastics (cell phones, sunglasses, etc.) It was also interesting how little plastic garbage there was in light of that fact that they do not seem to ever collect it.

You can learn a lot from garbage.

1 comment:

Charlene said...

This is one of my major pet perplextions about Bali - the tourists, too, are many times to blame - I've witnessed them throw food wrappers on the street. How true, garbage speaks tons about culture...guess the anthropologists - and now you runners - know better than anyone about that.