Isabel Wijsen, along with her sister Melati, are Co-Founders of youth-led organization Bye Bye Plastic Bags, which aims to get people to refuse single-use plastic bags. Their advocacy and petition for 6 years played a part in the Bali government's decision to place a ban on all single-use plastics in 2018. Going beyond reducing single-use plastics, the sisters initiated the Mountain Mamas project, which trains local women in Bali to hand-make reusable bags from donated or recycled materials. Last year, older sister Melati co-chaired the final session of the World Economic Forum's Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York.
Bye Bye Plastic Bags has become a global movement, with more than 50 examples from Tokyo to Tanzania. Among its projects, the NGO has launched an educational booklet about the harms of plastics to the environment, collected rubbish from rivers and formed partnerships with collectives that produce alternatives to plastic bags. As of 1 July 2020, Indonesia officially implemented the plastic bags ban in several cities, including Jakarta.
Melati and Isabel also launched Youthtopia, another social initiative focused on young aspiring activists. Youthtopia aims to equip future leaders with the skills needed to enact change, from public speaking to building business plans and interacting with governments.
Source: Forbes | Tatler Hong Kong