Melati Wijsen shares the story about Bye-Bye Plastic Bags

Melati Wijsen shares the story about Bye-Bye Plastic Bags

15 May, 2020

Melati Wijsen shares the life-changing moment she and her sister started Bye-Bye Plastic Bags at 12 and 10 years old.

Foto: Dok. by Tatler Indonesia

When it comes to making a difference, the only things stopping anyone are hesitation and procrastination. Proving that one shouldn’t wait to take action is Melati Wijsen, co-founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags (BBPB), the youthled organisation that aims to empower people to say no to single-use plastic.

What motivated you to start Bye Bye Plastic Bags?
Growing up on the island of Bali, plastic was literally everywhere. Living in a home that’s only surrounded by nature, it wasn’t rocket science to see that plastic was having a negative impact to it. That’s when my sister, Isabel, and I decided to start Bye Bye Plastic Bags when we were 10 and 12.

What was the first thing you did to start your organisation?
We knew we had to pull a team together, so we started contacting our closest friends to join us. We set up a petition online and within the first 24 hours we had more than 6,000 signatures.

One of the main reasons people still use plastic is because it’s more affordable. Do you see a way around this?
If we introduce alternatives to the market and they become more popular, then the price will go down. If we encourage large businesses and corporations to change their packaging and have them look at the design failures, a circular economy, and their extended producer responsibilities more seriously, then changing people’s mindsets will become easier.

How has working with older industry experts been like for you?
The way I see it is that the younger generation has all the energy, motivation, and passion, but we still need the knowledge. So every single person that crossed our paths has something that we have yet to touch or begun to understand, which is why we should work together to make a difference.

Source: Saphiera W, Karina, “Melati Wijsen”, Tatler Indonesia, Januari Issue, 2019