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Shocking Scenes At Bali Beach As Unprecedented Tide Of Plastic Arrives

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At this time of year, it has become all too common for tides of plastic waste to wash up along the southern coast of Bali.

Every year, the tides of trash seem to get larger, but the wave of waste that was swept in last night was one of the biggest to date. 

Tide Of Waste on Bali Beach Local Worker Clean Up.jpg

It takes a lot for Bali lovers to be truly shocked by scenes of plastic waste on the island’s once-pristine beaches.

With tides of trash and river debris landing on the shorelines all too frequently, there is something of the ‘new normal’ about the situation on the beaches of Badung Regency. 

Yet, overnight on March 18th, a fresh tide of plastic waste was swept onto Kedonganan Beach. The beach sits just north of Jimbaran Beach and immediately south of reclaimed land for the runway at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Kedonganan Beach is often referred to as Jimbaran Beach by tourists and tour operators since they run into each other. 

Fishermen operating out of Kedonganan Beach haven’t been having a really hard time lately, especially due to extreme weather conditions over Bali Island in the last week. It will come as no surprise to learn that the fishermen of Kedonganan have been experiencing declining catches for the last two years. 

Speaking to reporters, the Chairman of the Bali Kedonganan Boys Fishermen’s Group, I Made Gita Adnyana, said that if measured by the number of fish catches so far since the pandemic two years ago, fish catches at Kedonganan Beach have decreased significantly.

He explained “The fish don’t know where they’re going; they’re spinning somewhere. The fishermen said it didn’t decrease as much as during the pandemic; in fact, during the pandemic, fish were easiest to catch and find.”

But with tides of plastic waste accumulating in these areas before being washed into shore on a regular basis, there is no telling how much damage this is doing to the marine life beneath the surface. 

Adnyana told reporters that the plastic waste on Kedonganan Beach and the surrounding waters is starting to seriously affect fishermen’s livelihoods.

He said, “There is so much of it, and it disturbs the fishing boats, as the boats are parked on rubbish. Every day, the rubbish comes, and every day, I invite the fishermen to collect the rubbish so that it is piled up on the beach.”

Shocking footage that is being shared widely online amongst Bali lovers today shows a local fisherman sitting surrounded by a deep tide of plastic, humbly putting piece by piece in a netted bag.

The camera pans back to show the real extent of today’s tide of trash, and it just gets worse as the view widens. 

Plastic Waste Garbage Washes Up On Bali Beach

Kedonganan Beach and Jimbaran Beach are popular with tourists and famous for the beachside seafood restaurants that put tables out on the beachfront so that guests and diners can enjoy the spectacular sunset views.

But with increasing tides of trash and rapidly depleting fish stocks long term, both the major contributors to the village economy are in danger.

The tides of plastic waste affect both tourism and the local fishing industry, so much so that local fishermen are seeking work in other areas, but all have hopes of returning to the waters one day soon. 


Tragically, this may be the beginning of worsening in the next few days.

With a tide of waste already having landed on Kuta Beach last week and more bad weather to come, Bali must brace for an even bigger clean up operation. 


Although the local community are calling on support from the Badung Environment and Hygiene Service (LHK) for the clean up operation, community organised clean up missions are already underway.

As organised by Sungai Watch there will be a clean up on Kendongan Beach from 7 am to 3 pm on Wednesday 20th March and Thursday 20th March. 

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Wednesday 24th of April 2024

I need clarification on why everyone doesn't pull together to build infrastructure and reduce plastic where possible. It comes in from the ocean, so to aid in reducing plastic in the ocean, everyone in the South Pacific needs to come together to solve this massive issue. I am from NZ; seeing much trash on the sea is rare. We have less people, a management system, awareness and love for our coast. I mean a big part is probably the currents too. It is far from perfect, but more than one country taking action is required. It needs to be a global action so we can preserve nature. We cannot coexist without it. It has massively infiltrated the food chain, and we consume it every day. Yuck!

Steve b

Friday 3rd of May 2024

@Alex, it comes down the village creeks and rivers Alex, from the villages I see it first hand daily and I see it being dumped. Go around any backstreet go to villages follow the waterways in hot and wet season. Open the eyes


Sunday 24th of March 2024

You know what tickles me most about the delusion that is Bali. Its when they bandy around the trope ‘Island of the dogs’. I chortle along at that and my inner voice says “Yes, not the four legged type”. Anjings the lot of’em.


Thursday 21st of March 2024

Washed up on the beaches? How about washed down from the villages. The lazy,irresponsible and arrogant villagers don't care about anyone except themselves.


Wednesday 20th of March 2024

It’s not unprecedented, in West Bali we have it all year round. It’s coming down the rivers from the villages up in the hills every time it rains. The garbage is part of the ecosystem now, plastic bags, cups, sandals, bottles flood into the paddy fields and lie amongst the growing rice. No garbage infrastructure in Jembrana, we are drowning in it.


Wednesday 20th of March 2024

So that we call high class tourism in the 3. world! But not only at beaches is all the Trash , it’s all over Bali! It’s a shame !