All over the world, plastic bags are becoming a major source of pollution.

So, how do you solve a problem this big? You put two driven and passionate teenage sisters on the case.

This is the story of Melati and Isabel Wijsen, who, at 12 and 10-years-old decided they had to put an end to the plastic bags that were strangling their home island of Bali.

With the help of a team of fellow teenagers and a lot of tenacity, they created Bye Bye Plastic Bags, an organization that is not only changing the landscape of Bali but is beginning to spread across the globe.

Here are Melati and Isabel from the TED stage with their incredible story…

Via: TED 1

Do you know about the TED stage? TED.com is one of the most interesting corners of the web and EWC features the best of their talks a couple times each month. If I do say so myself, EWC and TED are the only places I have found where smart people, curious and hopeful, can always come away transformed. Take a look at the best of the best on our Must-See TED Talks page!

In this TED talk though, I am absolutely floored by these two!

What would the world look like if we encouraged kids, with their the boundless energy, to advocate for the future of this planet?

Harnessing the power future generations starts with educating children about what is possible, and instilling in them the confidence to believe that they are powerful enough to make change.

16 minutes

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Have you ever watched the TED Talk with the most views in history: 33 million? There's a reason this one is on top. Great fun and a subject that can expand every single one of us, no matter our age.

Read More

If we raise a generation of advocates for this world, we raise a future for this planet.

Bye Bye Plastic bags has picked up steam around the world with new branches starting up in NepalGuadalajaraAustralia, and New York City.

The Bali team for Bye Bye Plastic bags has a great Facebook page where you can keep up with current events and see all of the great work the organization is doing!

If you want to see more stories of teenagers changing the world, check out our Circle “Teens Who Will Restore Your Hope.” It’s a great playlist of our best article on young innovators who are changing our world!

We’ve also got loads of articles about the awesome things people are doing to reduce plastic waste. Check out a few of them here!

10 minutes

Brilliant: Plastic Bottle Schools!

Innovation at its best may be when someone takes something we have a lot of and transforms it sustainably into something we need that is scarce. Take a look at this wonder!

Read More

5 minutes

A Tale of Three Plastic Bottles

Does recycling really make much difference? It turns out, our choices when it comes to plastic bottles make a major difference. TED-Ed explains how!

Read More

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

WANT TO SEE MORE POSITIVE NEWS, FUN, OR INSIGHTS?

Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Even better, subscribe below to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!

Or just scroll down on this page to find a few more incredible articles from like this one!

Support us on Patreon!      Check out our library!

Notes:

  1. Wijsen, Metali, and Isabel Wijsen. “Our Campaign to Ban Plastic Bags in Bali.” TED.com. TED, Sept. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://www.ted.com/talks/melati_and_isabel_wijsen_our_campaign_to_ban_plastic_bags_in_bali#t-202598>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV

In this Circle

Abundance is Our Future!

16 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

It's easy to concede that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but the data shows the opposite! Here's the CEO of the X-Prize foundation to clue us in on where we are headed and why!
Read More

Sustainable Energy from Algae and Much More!

17 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

As we argue about the future of our fuel sources, we may be swimming right past the answer! Algae can produce Sustainable Energy and much more!
Read More

Omniprocessor: Tap Water from Our Toilets?

15 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Have you heard about a brilliant innovation - the Omniprocessor - that may change the lives of billions of people, in fact all of us eventually? This is "the challenge of progress" at it's messy best!
Read More

Humanizing What’s Under the Surface

15 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

It can be difficult to feel a connection to something when it isn't a part of your day to day life. But what if it could be? There are people throughout the world creating ways for us to have a closer look at what's happening under the water, so here's two of them. Artist, Katrina Fuller, will bring the ocean to us, while innovator, David Lang, brings us into those waters!
Read More

Litterati: Connecting Us All and Changing Paradigms!

8 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Have you heard of the amazing social media project that can eliminate litter from our planet? It's bringing together ordinary people, brands, governments and the power of big data--all with a novel artistic magnetism!
Read More

A Positive Perspective of Population Growth

18 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Fascinating - maybe positive - math on the subject of population growth!
Read More

Innovators to the End: Mushroom Burial Suits!

12 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Ingenious people are always the ones dragging culture forward. It is time to start innovating when it comes to death. How about a mushroom burial suit!
Read More

What if Trash Pick-Up Was Annual?

23 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

What if you could save money, time, your conscience, and fit your entire year's worth of trash in a mason jar? This is surprisingly very do-able!
Read More

Bye Bye Plastic Bags

12 minutes

[ Conservation & Sustainability ]

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

All over the world, plastic bags are becoming a major source of pollution. So, how do you solve a problem this big? You put two driven and passionate teenage sisters on the case. Here is their story...
Read More