Kuta beach has seen a lot of trash washed up along its shore, dissuading visitors, including surfers, from going to the island’s famed beach.
“Trash season” is now considered an annual problem for Kuta. From around December or January until late March, strong winds and powerful currents send waves of garbage from the ocean onto the beach.
“We work almost around the clock, from the morning to the afternoon, but there is still a lot of garbage,” the beach’s head of task force, I Gusti Ngurah Tresna said, adding that the trash had piled up to 1 meter in height.
Cleaning workers, assisted by beach vendors, collect and load the garbage every day, using three garbage loaders, each of which can accommodate 1 cubic meter of trash.
As of Friday, the debris–plastic bags, bottles, cans, paper, sandals —was still seen scattered along the coast and in the water several meters out.
This situation hampered surfing activities. The beach, which is usually packed by surfers, saw few visitors.
Some people carrying their surfboards were seen turning around, canceling their plans to catch the waves and leaving the beach, Tresna said.
“The number of visitors is much lower than usual, before this seasonal trash arrived,” he said.
Mark, a tourist who has been coming to Kuta beach to learn to surf for several years, recently commented on a US traveler’s blog “Changes in Longitude”, on a post titled “Trashy Beach in Bali”.
“My first perception of the water was ‘Where is all this trash coming from?’ I was being wrapped up in trash, inhaling plastic, and couldn’t tell if weird fish were scraping on my flesh or if it was just more and more plastic.”
Since then, he had returned almost every year, in the hope that the problem would get some badly needed attention, as more people from around the world have been coming to the beach to learn to surf.
Recently, he finally had a chance to get back into the water to catch waves.
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