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Blog-Bali-NGO-Plastic-Exchange

December 1, 2020.

Giving Tuesday Inspiration | Made Janur Yasa •  The Plastic Exchange

Watch the teaser for the upcoming short documentary film.

If you’ve heard of the Plastic Exchange program in Bali, the man behind it is I Made Janur Yasa, or known as Janur Yasa.

The program was created in May 2020 in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Janur Yasa was trying to find a way to help his community who were impacted by the downfall of tourism industry on the island and still keep the people who need help their dignity.

“Inside of every crisis there is an opportunity. Plastic is one of the biggest problems that we have here in Bali right now. I set up a barter system that when people bring plastic, we give them rice in return, using plastic as currency for rice.”

Janur Yasa explained there are 3 core values of this program: environment, dignity and prosperity. In line with a Balinese philosophy Tri Hita Karana, “three reasons for prosperity”, the program helps the Balinese to keep their harmony with God, with people, and with nature.

Rather than creating new systems, the program empowers the systems that have already been existing in the Balinese community: banjars, youth communities, and rubbish collections in each village, bringing them into one synergy together.

Just in the first few days they collected 2 tonnes of plastic and gave rice for 300 families. Now, 7 months into the program, they have collected more than 100 tonnes of plastic and given 25 tonnes of rice to the families throughout the island.

“The program is spreading like wild fires, from one Banjar to the next Banjar to the next Banjar.” To this day there are 200 banjars on the island that participate in the program and some of the banjars do it monthly.

Janur Yasa was born in a village in Tabanan, one of the rice-producing villages in Bali, and owns a plant-based restaurant, Moksa, in Ubud.

One thing that gave us the deepest impression from our conversation was what he said at the end of the interview“I believe every individual has their own fire. This is my fire.”

 

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