Following a recent unflattering article about Bali’s polluted beaches in Time magazine, and after a report from the Bali Environmental Agency identifying unacceptable pollution levels at many of the island’s most popular beaches, Governor I Made Mangku Pastika said he will shut down hotels found dumping waste directly into the sea.
Pastika said that the agency’s report, based on tests carried out late last year, revealed high levels of pollution at 13 beaches in Bali, including Kuta and Sanur. The agency suspects that direct dumping by seafront businesses is partly to blame for the pollution.
“If there is any solid evidence that the hotels have dumped their waste in the sea, we will take legal action against them. These acts are illegal and we will close down any business found guilty of such actions,” Pastika said.
Pastika said tourism businesses needed to start behaving more responsibly.
“Hotels and the tourism industry should provide enough funding to build better waste treatment facilities. They have money to do this because they have gained significant profits from this island,” he said.
Head of the Bali Environmental Agency Anak Agung Alit Sastrawan said high levels of nitrates and other pollutants had been found at several of the beaches surveyed, but added that swimming and other leisure activities were still considered safe.
“The pollution is above the accepted standard but is not yet at the level where it will be dangerous for human activities,” he said, adding that by national standards Bali’s beaches were relatively clean.
“Actually, the condition of the beaches here is better than the condition of beaches in other parts in the country,” he said.