Melati Wijsen is the Co-Founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags, a social initiative launched in 2013 with her younger sister, Isabel, then 10, to eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags on Bali. By 2018, aged 18 and 16, they succeeded in their mission to convince the Balinese government to ban single-use plastic bags — a measure that went into effect in July 2019. Today, Bye Bye Plastic Bags is a global youth movement with 50 teams in 29 countries.
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