Young children have a voice and they can make a difference in this world. That is part of the message that sisters Isabel and Melati Wijsen are spreading as they work at successfully implementing the strategy at Bye Bye Plastic Bags. These young ladies founded this initiative in the year 2013 at only 12 and 10 years of age. It is a social initiative that is largely driven by international and local children with the aim of getting Bali to stop the use of plastic bags.
Currently, there are about twenty-five to thirty students who volunteer across Bali. Not only are they spreading their messages, but they are also inspiring their schools to begin projects similar to this one. They spread their messages in the following ways:
Holding inspirational and education talks in the various schools as well as speaking at international conferences in Holland, Indonesia, India, Singapore and Switzerland. Up to this point, they have given their talks to over five thousand people.
They also have given a TED Talk, which had been seen almost one million times. That means their local initiative has grown up to become an international one! Schools fromall over the world are picking up the idea, following the example of Isabel and Melati. Some of these are even using the Bye Bye Plastic Bags’ logo for their own city, like Sydney or New York.
They have also managed to collect 1 million signatures and convinced the Governor of Bali that he should sign a ban eliminating the use of plastic bags beginning the year 2018.
They have also carried out general awareness campaigns urging people to say NO to the use of plastic bags. This has been done in various fun ways including flash mobs, market booths and campaigning on the streets.
Carrying out a pilot project in a village by distributing bags that have been made from material that can be recycled 100% as alternatives to plastic bags.
They have put in a lot of work into this project and have enjoyed many successes. Perhaps the one that stands out the most is securing the commitment of both the government and the governor of Bali who have promised to work hard towards ensuring that Bali will be free of plastic bags by the year 2018. It is their hope that their achievements will inspire the youth around the world to get up and change the world around them. They have the motivation and power to do so, one issue at a time.
The Garden of Life Foundation will assist Bye Bye Plastic Bags by supporting them in increasing awareness in Bali and other places. But also by trying to provide them the necessary infrastructure needed to be able to keep up with the rapid growth of their initiative. The message is that they need to care for the environment in order to create a sustainable, green lifestyle for all. The first step in doing so is rejecting plastic bags.
Garden of Life is really proud to support such amazing initiative, which obviously shows the power of youth.