Environmentalist pro surfer tackles Bali’s trash problem

Since surf travelers started visiting its beautiful and untouched beaches in the early ’70s, Bali has been one world’s most foremost surf travel destinations. Waves like Uluwatu, Padang Padang, and Canggu are synonymous with perfection and incredible surrounding scenery. Since the ’70s, Bali has seen incredible growth in both local population and visiting tourists. With that growth, trash and pollution have become a huge problem with little or no refuse disposal systems in place to handle the surge of trash that has made its way from land to sea. As pro-surfer/environmental activist Kyle Thiermann puts it, “Bali is a little island with a big problem. It’s drowning in trash.”

Thiermann’s latest film project in his “Surfing For Change” series is called “Indonesian Trash Tubes.” The idea for the film itself was conceived while Kyle, along with his brother and some friends, visited Bali for a surf trip. After witnessing the catastrophic trash and pollution problem first-hand, Kyle and the crew extended their trip and shot a short documentary that not only uncovers the problem, but also offers various ways that the viewer can help.

“Through the interviews I learned that this is a systemic issue that ties in closely with economic and cultural habits. And everyone has blood on their hands, including me,” Thiermann wrote in a recent article on the Huffington Post.

We had the chance to sit with Kyle Thiermann in the studio at GrindTV to find out more about the trash issue in Bali, and what he’s doing to help fight the battle to keep Bali beautiful.

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