Contribution starting at $1,900
Exported from Streamline App (https://app.streamlineicons.com)
7 days (avg. $271 a day) Includes accommodations, food, and all related research costs
Ocean Health

Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution in Bali

Location
Les village, Bali, Indonesia Map it
Lead Scientist
Activity Level
Moderate
Accommodations
Single Rooms possible
Couples Rooms possible
Research Station
Food
Chef-prepared meals
Special diets accommodated
Plastic debris litters the surface of the ocean (C) Earthwatch Australia
Earthwatch volunteers collect plastic debris samples along the shore (C) Earthwatch Australia
Earthwatch volunteers collect plastic on the beach (C) Earthwatch Australia
Community members at a recycling center sort through plastic (C) Earthwatch Australia
Bundles of recyclable plastic collected from the beaches (C) Earthwatch Australia
A sea fan coral (C) Earthwatch Australia
A beach in Bali (C) Earthwatch Australia
Plastic debris litters the surface of the ocean (C) Earthwatch Australia
Earthwatch volunteers collect plastic debris samples along the shore (C) Earthwatch Australia
Earthwatch volunteers collect plastic on the beach (C) Earthwatch Australia
Community members at a recycling center sort through plastic (C) Earthwatch Australia
Bundles of recyclable plastic collected from the beaches (C) Earthwatch Australia
A sea fan coral (C) Earthwatch Australia
A beach in Bali (C) Earthwatch Australia

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing our oceans today. Indonesia is the second largest contributor of plastic debris globally, a problem driven largely by their lack of access to waste management infrastructure.


Earthwatch volunteers meet on the beach

Bali is a hotspot for marine and terrestrial biodiversity in the heart of the Coral Triangle, known for its iconic rice paddies, scenic beaches, and stunning coral reefs. However, this thriving volcanic island is being threatened by an urgent global problem: marine plastic pollution. Anywhere from 10-27 billion pounds of plastic waste enters the oceans from coastal regions each year. Indonesia is particularly struck by this crisis, as they have become the second largest contributor of plastic debris globally, largely driven by lack of access to waste management infrastructure.

You will work with experienced Earthwatch researchers and staff to measure the effectiveness of a community-based waste management strategy recently implemented in Bali by Plastic Collective. In this program a Shruder (portable recycling machine) is installed in the village. By surveying pollution along transects in public places where these waste management systems are available and comparing it to the amount of waste found in areas that lack this system, you can help researchers determine how effective the system is at reducing the amount of plastic pollution entering the environment.

Join us in a remote and relatively untouched area of Bali to experience the Balinese village of Les, while aiding researchers in combating one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. With your help, scientists can collect data that contribute to waste management policy and decision-making across the region, and eventually help turn the tide on the plastics in our oceans.

 

A Typical Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival, travel to the village of Les, orientation
  • Days 2-6: Survey transects in Les and a ‘control’ village, remove threats to wildlife, learn about the Shruder program
  • Day 7: Team wrap-up and review of achievements, departure

HOW YOU WILL HELP

Before heading into the field each day, you’ll be trained on survey methods and debris identification. You will help researchers with:
Conduct surveys for debris types, categories, and amounts (C) Earthwatch Australia
Conducting surveys

You'll walk the beach, recording debris types, categories, and amounts. You'll monitor areas that have received Shruders and control areas that have not.

Learn about the Shruder machine (C) Earthwatch Australia
Meeting the Shruder

You will have the opportunity to see small-scale recycling in action at a community level, learn about the successes and challenges from the local Shruder program managers, and if possible, recycle your own material into a memento to take home with you.

Remove threats to wildlife credit (C) Creative Commons
Removing threats to wildlife

As you survey, you may encounter waste that poses a significant threat to wildlife, like soda can rings or fishing nets. You’ll remove this debris to reduce the risk of entanglement or plastic consumption for wildlife.

In the evenings, you’ll be provided with lectures and films about the plastic crisis in Indonesia. Cultural activities will also broaden your understanding of socioeconomic issues in the plastic pollution challenge.

Field conditions and research needs can lead to changes in the itinerary and activities. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

FEEDBACK & QUESTIONS

2 Reviews on this Expedition

If you have been on this expedition, others considering attending would love to hear about your experience.
Kirsten Velthuis | July 9, 2019
If you want to see Bali beyond the touristy beaches and nightclubs and see how life is lived away from these areas, sign up here! This project is a superb way to get an insight into how a developing nation deals with waste, and the challenges faced by those keen to change the status-quo. We stayed in a non-touristy fishing area, in a grass-roots environmental education facility started by local fishermen on a mission to improve the marine environment on which the local communities depend. We measured waste types and densities in a range of different locations (along road-sides; near shops; in the fishing areas etc) in our and another village. Te recently installed 'shruder' in the village can turn some plastic waste into reusable materials, and part of the research is to see if the shruder is making a difference in waste volumes. Steve our research leader is very easy-going but passionate about the research, as well as keen to give us the bigger picture on waste issues in Indonesia and the challenges so feel I gained a very well- rounded and informed understanding of this topic.
Laura Birley | June 20, 2019
A wonderful blend of being involved in Community Based Management approaches to one of the most complex environmental issues we have – plastic pollution – and cultural activities, from attending local markets, to meeting wonderful local people, to waterfalls and trekking. This expedition was such a wonderful experience. You really get a chance to learn all about plastics, and the types of plastics; where they are present and in which environments. Great to be involved in something so critical. Team was wonderful and we had a great one, both locally and through Earthwatch. Absolutely loved it – came home and booked another trip straight away! Highly recommend it. Long sleeve clothing an absolute must! It was very hot!

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