Melati and Isabel Wijsen were only 10 and 12, respectively, when they started on a course of activism that has drastically decreased the global usage of single-use plastic. The young women were inspired by the country of Rwanda’s ban of polyethylene bags in 2008, and decided to try to get their native Bali to do the same. Their homegrown initiative of beach cleanups and government petitions graduated to an organizations advocating for reduced plastic use in 15 different countries. Bali is officially plastic bag free, and Indonesia will be by 2021, with the Wijsen to thank.
Thinking back to when she and Isabel started Melati says, “We were inspired by people who throughout history created massive impact.” (The sisters have cited Princess Diana, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela as role models.)