BADUNG, Indonesia: Dismayed by the plastic waste strewn over their home island of Bali, sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen have channelled Ted Talks and international conferences in raising global awareness through a youth-led movement to try to eliminate the scourge.

It was not "rocket science," said Melati, 19, of the plastic waste problem that prompted the sisters to set up their "Bye Bye Plastic Bags" initiative seven years ago.

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The campaign has grown internationally, with Bali leading the way in Indonesia banning single-use plastic bags.

The sisters aren't resting on their laurels, however. Tackling climate change is now among the world's most pressing issues, they say.

"We know the urgency, we have to take action now," said Melati, speaking from their home surrounded by paddy fields.

"We need to see the bar set a lot higher and a lot sooner," she said, calling on policymakers to take swift action.

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Isabel Wijsen, a 17-year-old environmentalist of Bye Bye Plastic Bags, talks during an interview at her house in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia Oct 6, 2020. (REUTERS/I Wayan Sukarda)

Melati Wijsen, a 19-years-old environmentalist of Bye Bye Plastic Bags, talks during an interview at her house in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia Oct 6, 2020. (REUTERS/I Wayan Sukarda)

Melati's activism started when she was only 12 years old and her sister even younger at 10. They have since garnered global attention, speaking at international conferences including setting out their ideas in a Ted Talk.

The sisters say they were inspired by figures such as Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, and Mahatma Gandhi when at school.

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Growing up on the tropical island famed for its beaches and temples, they were disRead More – Source