Bali hosts litter-picking 'sport'

With its large population, Indonesia faces challenges disposing of waste. A World Bank report says some 60 percent of the country's plastic waste is mismanaged.
Picking it up can be dull work, but turning it into a sport has made it fun.

About 140 people took part in a litter-picking competition on a beach in Bali on Sunday.

The rules are simple. Participants split into teams and gather litter within a defined area for points that are decided based on the litter's quantity and quality.

The sport was invented in Japan. It's called SpoGomi, from the Japanese words for "sport" and "trash."

One of the world's best-known resorts, Bali is plagued by ocean debris. Locals have to spend time every day collecting garbage. Much of the waste comes from a neighboring island.

During Sunday's cleanup, about 300 kilograms of rubbish was removed from the beach.

The Japanese company that staged the activity hopes it will highlight environmental issues.

One participant in his 30s said, "The event may encourage children not to litter, and they can learn to keep the streets clean. It's a very good idea."

In 2018, the Indonesian government set a target of slashing marine waste 70 percent by 2025.

The plan has won support from overseas. A Japanese shipping company has started clearing ocean garbage with a ship and heavy machinery.