Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 17,000 islands, may conjure images of golden beaches and blue seas — but the reality may be far murkier.
In December last year, the tourist island of Bali was so besieged by plastic waste washed ashore that the local government declared a "garbage emergency."
Years before that crisis erupted, teenager Melati Wijsen was already campaigning to ban plastic bags in Bali — the island she grew up on.
In 2013, when she was just 12 years old, Wijsen started a social initiative called Bye Bye Plastic Bags with her younger sister, Isabel Wijsen, who was 10 at that time. Their goal? To help Bali residents say no to plastic bags.
Her journey in the last five years has taken her to the international stage and given her opportunities to meet world leaders and celebrities, as well as speak at global events — but there's more to be done, the 17-year-old told CNBC in Bali.