Bali bans plastic bags, as one of the places in Indonesia where local action is taken to improve sustainability. So, what is the alternative?
Various places offer a bamboo or a paper straw or no straw at all, while all supermarkets and minimarkets firmly declare that they will not provide plastic bags. And they don’t. So how do you go plastic free shopping in Bali? You just take your own bag with you and avoid hassle.
But what if you want to take it a step further by reducing your waste footprint more by ditching plastic packaging materials as well? Then you can head to one of the zero waste shops in Bali.
The first one I visit is the Canggu shop. They provide various tools to reduce your waste consumption, such as bamboo cutlery, bowls and cups, drinking bottles, and even large packed healthy foods like nuts and seeds. But yes, you guess it, I still say packed …
Killing two birds with one stone
So, let’s move on to the next shop to find some real zero waste food. This shop offers all its nuts, seeds, flour and other cooking basics in bulk and you just poor them in your own jar, containers or bags. In addition, they have waste free personal care items as well. They provide refills for your body lotion and shampoos among others, but I prefer the soap and shampoo bars they have, which even don’t require you to have a plastic bottle at all. As the bar comes as a bar, instead of as a liquid. Moreover, the bars are made with natural ingredients, so they are less harmful for you and for the environment. Killing two birds with one stone!
Talking about chemicals, there is this major chemical issue where I really want to get rid off: mosquito repellent. I’m not sure if the effectiveness is the same, but if I can choose to have a natural one rather than the chemical one, I will go for it. So, I continue my road and find this natural cosmetics shop based on coconut oil, which is grown, processed and produces in Bali and in Sulawesi, another Indonesian island. And they have the coral-harmless sunscreen as well!
On my way back home, I notice a shop that wasn’t here before, yet I fall in love with it at first sight: bamboo bikes! The Kate Wood shop is only here for five days now, tells the lady, yet they have another shop in China already – the home base of the Dutch owner – . The wooden parts are left-over woods and the framework is from real bamboo. Bamboo is strong, sustainable and actually pretty beautiful as well!
While passing all the vegetarian and vegan places, I do have the impression that Bali has a huge awareness and open-attitude towards sustainability practices.
Yet, if you want to go zero waste and local, you should just head to the local market and buy your veggies and fruits over there, they come straight of the local farmers, so they have a lower transportation footprint, and they come absolutely without packaging, and on top of that: you support local communities – not saying that you don’t have to support the foreign owners of most of these eco-friendly shops either, but just in case you were thinking about combining the three P’s (planet, profit and people), this is your place!