Skip to Content

Concerns Increasing About Impact Of Trash And Traffic On Bali Tourists

Share The Article

Officials in Bali are voicing their concerns about the impact of traffic and trash on tourists’ experience of the island.

The Bali Tourism Village Communication Forum, a local group that develops community-based tourism projects on the island, have shared their anxieties about the future of tourism on the island if the situation doesn’t improve soon. 

Trash Waste Plastic Pollution on Jimbaran Beach.jpg

The Head of the Bali Tourism Village Communication Forum, Made Mendra Astawa, has told reporters that he and his teams fear that the mounting piles of plastic waste on the island and frequent gridlock traffic will negatively impact the island’s public image.

He noted that the issue of waste management and traffic congestion is already a source of concern for tourists in Bali.

@trashcaulin #duet with THIS IS INCREDIBLE, 150,000KGS IS AMAZING WORK 👏🏼♻️ #garbage #plaaticpollution #cleanup #waterways #litter #trash #bali ♬ Paris – Else

Astawa told reporters, “If tourists to Bali decrease, visits to tourist villages are also at risk of decreasing.”

While many tourists visit Bali and stay in one of the island’s many coastal resorts, there are an increasing number of people who want to experience community-based and village-based tourism programs.

The local and national governments also want to promote art, culture, and spirituality to tourists visiting Bali through the development of tourism villages. 

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

Bali’s most famous tourist village, Penglipuran Village, is currently welcoming over 3,000 visitors a day.

Yet, if traffic congestion continues to get worse, tourists won’t be inclined to leave their resorts for a day trip to the stunning tourist villages and other more rural destinations.

This will have a negative impact on the island’s economy and also a negative impact on the tourist experience.

The more diverse a set of experiences tourists can have on vacation often equates to more positive feedback.

@wanderwithivana I’ve never seen anything like this in my life 😂😱 #bali #canggu #balitraffic #balitravel #travel #traveltok #fyp #pov ♬ pass the dutchie sped up – vevonix

Astawa said, “Tourists and us in general certainly don’t like polluted environments and those that make them uncomfortable.”

A visit to a tourist village in Bali is a great way for tourists to learn more about the unique way of life on the island and how Balinese Hinduism informs the way communities and land are managed.

As Bali moves towards a new era of tourism with an even stronger focus on sustainability and cultural preservation, tourism villages will become a flagship experience for tourism leaders to promote.

@sunsetoverwater_ 3 km 54 min #bali #canggu #indonesia #balitraffic #canggu #fy #fyp #fypシ #travelbali #visitbali ♬ Calm Dooowwnnn Lalalaaa (Remix) – FAITAH NADA

According to Astawa, the issues around waste management and traffic are starting to inform the decisions tourists make.

He suggests that tourists are starting to think twice about visiting tourism villages in case they aren’t as pretty as they appear in photos and are perhaps struggling with waste management.

Similarly, tourists don’t want to be sitting in traffic for the best part of their vacation, so in order to avoid the risk, some tourists are not taking day trips to different parts of the island.

Astawa wants communities and tourism leaders across Bali to step up and take a more active role in tackling traffic congestion but especially waste management.

He said, “Among tourism practitioners, this problem has often become a topic of discussion, both directly and via social media. In tourist villages, the problem of cleanliness (garbage) is urgent.”


It is evident that Bali’s mountain trash problem is impacting the quality of tourism experiences on the island.

There are thousands of videos online and even more comments from tourists who have been surprised by the volume of plastic waste they encountered on the island’s most popular beaches, waterfalls, and even urban areas. 

There are many stakeholders working to address the issue, though the real question is whether impactful solutions can be excused before Bali’s public image is permanently damaged by these problems.

The founder of environmental NGO Sungai Watch, Gary Bencheghib, has said that the solutions are available right now but that funding is preventing rapid progress.


Sungai Watch focuses on cleaning up illegal landfill sites and removing waste from Bali’s network of waterways.

All trash removed from the landscape is taken to Sungai Watch’s dedicated processing facilities.

According to Bencheghib, with 100 of these processing facilities costing USD 40 million, Sungai Watch would be able to clean up Bali in under three years. 

Remove All Ads & Unlock All Articles… Sign up for The Bali Sun Premium

Plan Your Bali Holiday:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
Book Cheap Flights To Bali
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance That Covers Medical Expenses In Bali

For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community


Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.


Wednesday 15th of May 2024

I totally agree with this article. I came to Bali and it's been a HUGE disappointment to me. We couldn't go to the local beach because it's drowned in plastic. Everywhere we went by scooter we were in horrible traffic. And what was really destroying me was the amount of homeless animals. In Europe we value our pets a lot, especially cats and dogs. Seeing them in so much suffering and pain was really unbearable for me. I will not come back and not recommend it to anyone. Also shocking: the amount of trash they create as part of their culture with the offerings. How can religion neglect an issue this big so much. And indeed I wonder where all the money from tourism goes, it seems either no taxes are paid or that the government is completely corrupt and incapable.


Monday 14th of August 2023

Yes we are here in Sanur 8 weeks. We have stopped travelling outside of Sanur due to sitting in traffic etc. 1.5 hours to Seminyak 1 hour to Legian

Only now will leave to do a day trip which is not often. Otherwise we would share the $ around the island. Canggu out of the question drivers tell us


Thursday 10th of August 2023

Would the amount of trash support an incinerator power generator?


Friday 11th of August 2023

@Nigel, Absolutely, but that would mean engineering brains which Bali doesn't have and would have to be imported from the USA where this system has been in place for many years. Yes it only creates a small amount of electric power, enough to take care of the facility needs, but the main benefit is that the garbage is burned clean with no emissions due to high heat burning and filtering system. That's why the garbage is sorted and no glass or metals in the incinerators.


Friday 11th of August 2023

@Nigel, Yes, budget will be fine, but due to corruption money left for building the actual plant will be too little to buy all the technology needed to remove emissions and foul smell. So it will be a major fail. That is just how it is.

Wayan Bo

Thursday 10th of August 2023

On its way to become in some parts second Dominican Republic and in others second Haiti.


Thursday 10th of August 2023

Mister WK. That’s the reality! Stop dreaming about high quality ! Start to clean up in front of your door!