Shocking footage has emerged showing Bali’s beaches and rivers polluted with rubbish just one month after foreign tourists returned to the Indonesian resort island.
The video shows grey, filthy grey water spewing onto the beach at trendy Seminyak and rubbish being washed onto popular Kuta Beach at the popular holiday destination.
Aussie travellers began flocking back to the tourist hotspot in March after the island reopened to holidaymakers following two years of closed borders due to Covid.
Bali’s beaches looked pristine in photos taken while borders were closed, but the problems that led to a so-called ‘trash emergency’ in 2017 are now re-emerging.
‘Any influx of people overburdens [Bali’s] already overflowing waste infrastructure,’ the American woman who shot the video told Daily Mail Australia.
She did not want to be named over fears tourist authorities could deport her for giving Bali a bad name.
Bali beaches and rivers are being polluted with a garbage ‘soup’ and rubbish just a month after foreign tourists returned to the island paradise
It follows a Denpasar tie-dying business being fined this month after its screen-printing operation accidently spilled waste into a river, turning it red
Bali’s beaches, such as the one pictured, are again filling up with Australian tourists
The woman, who lives in Bali, uploaded the clip to TikTok showing hundreds of items of discarded plastic, including drinking straws and plastic pack rings, and an old tyre on the beach.
She posted it with the title ‘Seminyak has some good soup to swim in’, referring to the dirty water gushing from the pipes and directly onto the beach.
She told Daily Mail Australia a local river near Seminyak ‘turned red’ because of dyes from clothes making businesses for tourists being dumped in the water.
Excited travellers wait at Melbourne to board their flight to Bali after flights to the island finally restarted
A holiday maker walks on Kuta beach in Bali in 2019 (pictured)
Balinese locals collected up to 60 tonnes of a plastics a day in early 2021 from iconic beaches such as Seminyak, Kuta and Legian
‘Last week a river turned red due to waste from a tie-dying business nearby,’ she said.
She said tourists could ask about what shops, hotels, bars and restaurants do with their waste to put ‘pressure’ on them to do better.
‘They could dive a little deeper and ask questions about the hotel’s waste reduction efforts,’ she said.
‘For example, most of the cleanup crews on the beach are hotel employees. They do it because they know tourists don’t want to see trash on the beachfront.’
TikTok users were quick to point out that dirty water and rubbish on Balinese beaches are hardly a new phenomenon.
Foreigner tourists sit on Kuta beach, Bali, Indonesia Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Holidaymakers were seen lounging on sun beds by the pool overlooking the beach at the opening night of Mari Beach Club, located on Batu Belig beach in Bali, Indonesia
The TikTok user showed plastics left on the sand at Seminyak. Bali’s southwestern beaches often have big issues with waste arriving on ocean currents as well as rubbish from tourists and locals
An American woman living in Bali has documented the impacts tourists have on the waste problems on the island paradise. Fellow TikTok users pointed out the island has long has issued with waste
Bali is known to have issues with waste, especially plastics, from tourists but also local landfills washing into the ocean
‘It was always like that,’ Tyson Smith said.
‘I went 12 years ago and I can confirm it was like that then too,’ another user agreed.
Bali is known to have issues with waste – especially plastics – from landfills washing into the ocean.
The problem led authorities declaring a ‘trash emergency’ in 2017.
One report said 90tonnes of plastic rubbish was being buried on Bali’s famous beaches, including Seminyak, Kuta and Legian, in January 2021.
Bali’s southwest beaches accumulate plastic rubbish as rains and winds blow each year from west to east.
While much of it is related to tourism, some comes from locals and some arrivals on ocean current from other parts of Indonesia.
One commenter said the woman who posted the clip was at the wrong beach. ‘The beaches in Uluwatu are so much better,’ Alisha wrote.
Emily, believed to be from the US, wanted to explore Bali’s beaches but was shocked at the kilometres of rubbish that washed up on shore after a storm (pictured, photos taken in December on Balinese beaches)
One man, Steve, commented that she could help by doing something about the garbage.
‘Grab a bag and start picking some up?’ he wrote.
The original poster responded in a separate clip, saying: ‘They have multiple tractors and clean-up crews working every day to try and keep it at bay.’
She also posted another video saying Bali authorities plan to close the island’s landfills and implement waste reduction programs to try and lessen the amount of rubbish generated.
A local environmental group, the Zero Waste Center, said the problem is getting worse.
Bali’s trash problem is getting worse day by day, the local ZeroWaste Center said on Facebook
Volunteers collecting waste from Bali’s iconic beaches
‘Bali’s trash problem is getting worse day by day,’ it said in a Facebook post in late March.
‘Acknowledging the trash problem on the Island of the Gods, the central government said the time has come to clean up Bali with a few months to go until the G20 summit.
‘We look forward to the seriousness of the government in dealing with this Bali’s trash problem. It will be a major challenge.’