Traveller is lost for words after arriving to at a Bali beach covered in kilometres of rubbish 1

Traveller is lost for words after arriving to at a Bali beach covered in kilometres of rubbish

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No tourists but still HEAPS of rubbish: Traveller is lost for words after arriving at a ‘stunning’ Bali beach covered in kilometres of washed-up plastic trash

  • A solo traveller has been shocked at the state of a Bali beach after a storm 
  • The sand was covered in plastic that was pushed to shore
  • US tourist Emily shared a now-viral TikTok video to raise awareness 
  • Community volunteers helped clean up the shocking scenes the next day 
  • It comes after a few dozen foreign tourists visited Bali in nine months this year


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A solo traveller who moved to Bali has been left devastated at the state of the beaches ridden with kilometres of rubbish that washed up after a storm.

Emily, believed to be from the US, wanted to explore the stunning coastline the Indonesian travel destination has to offer, but witnessed the exact opposite of the beauty she expected.

The sand was covered in plastic and used products from the ocean and nearby restaurants. 

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Emily filmed what she saw in a now-viral TikTok video which has been viewed more than 200,000 times in four days.

Bali was once a go-to travel location for many Australians but has been badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

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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

The sand was covered in single-use plastic that was pushed to shore from the ocean and nearby restaurants

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

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‘I walked to the beach in Bali this morning and this is what I found,’ Emily wrote in the video.

‘Recent heavy rain has caused trash to wash on shore. As far as I could see trash covered the beaches – it was so devastating to see.’  

The rubbish appeared to be used cups, old thongs, soft drink cans, fast-food containers and plastic bags. 

TikTok users commenting on the images said the ‘didn’t want to think’ about the huge amounts of plastic floating in the ocean. 

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‘We as a species are our worst own enemies,’ one person wrote.

‘We are the Earth’s cancer,’ another added.

A third wrote: ‘Wow! Awful! The ocean threw it back to us. We need to do better.’ 

‘This is so heartbreaking and so preventable,’ said another. 

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The following day community volunteers and the team from Sungai Watch helped clear the beach. 

Emily (pictured) moved to Bali to start a new life and documented what she saw in a now-viral TikTok video

Emily (pictured) moved to Bali to start a new life and documented what she saw in a now-viral TikTok video

Only a few dozen foreign tourists have visited Bali this year, a far cry from before the pandemic when the island was usually teeming with tens of thousands.

Once its streets were flooded with visitors packed shoulder to shoulder, but now bars and shops sit empty after tourism dried up during Covid travel bans. 

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In the first nine months of 2021 just 43 foreign tourists in total visited Bali compared to 6.3 million in the same period of 2019.

The island’s villages are now ghost towns and local businesses are struggling to stay afloat with the prospect international travel might not rebound for years. 

Bali grew increasingly popular for tourists the world over in between 2000 and 2019 with a record 6.3million foreigners visiting in 2019 (pictured: Lempuyang Temple in Bali)

Bali grew increasingly popular for tourists the world over in between 2000 and 2019 with a record 6.3million foreigners visiting in 2019 (pictured: Lempuyang Temple in Bali)  

In the past decade Bali had became one of the top tourists destinations in the world, not just for Australians but Europeans, North and South Americans, and other Asian countries.

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New scooter hire businesses, pubs, and eateries sprouted up along the tourist strips as more and more locals began relying on foreign business.

More than 75,000 hotel rooms were constructed along its beaches to cope with demand as visitor numbers grew to record levels in 2019.

The same year, TripAdvisor rated the island the top destination in Asia and fourth in the world.   

Stores in Kuta (pictured) once bustling with foreign tourists snapping up cheap clothes and souvenirs now sit empty

Stores in Kuta (pictured) once bustling with foreign tourists snapping up cheap clothes and souvenirs now sit empty  

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Then the arrival of coronavirus in early 2020 abruptly cut off international travel.

The island eventually opened up to tourists again in mid-October but required travellers to quarantine at their own expense for five days, which was later dropped to three.   

Bali allowed certain exemptions to the travel rules – such as for diplomats or medical workers.  

A holiday maker walks on Kuta beach in Bali in 2019 (pictured)

A holiday maker walks on Kuta beach in Bali in 2019 (pictured) 

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Now just as Bali and other countries such as Australia and the US begin easing border rules, the emergence of the Omicron strain threatens to ground flights once again.  

Experts forecast new variants could be an ongoing issue for years.

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