During an official visit to Nusa Penida Island, located a short distance of Bali’s southern coast, governor Made Mangku Pastika was so disturbed by the site of plastic refuse scattered along his journey that he spontaneously included an unexpected offer in a speech delivered during a town hall meeting at Balai Desa Batu Nunggul on Saturday, July 27, 2013.
As reported by Seputarbali.com, the Governor challenged his audience to join his personal war on plastic trash. “I will replace 1 kilogram of plastic trash with 1 kilogram of rice,” Pastika told his large audience. The governor then immediately shelled out Rp. 10 million (US$1,000) of his own money, leaving the fund available and on hand for instant redemption on his promise.
People gathering plastic trash and selling it to recyclers are normally only paid Rp. 600 (US$0.06) per kilogram, leaving the governor having to cover the Rp. 9.400 (US$0.94) shortfall needed to buy the promised kilogram of rice.
At the same time, the Governor called on the people of Nusa Penida to keep their island home clean and tidy.
The chairman of the Nusa Penida Foundation, Nyoman Sudita, pledged to respond to the Governor’s challenge and organize the local community to rid itself of unsightly and unhealthy plastic trash.
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