Melati Wijsen Indonesia, 16 

project: Bye Bye Plastic Bags
BASIC HUMAN NEEDS: EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT

Theme Song: “Catch & Release” Matt Simons (deepend remix)

When Melati was 12 years old, she and her younger sister Isabel created Bye Bye Plastic Bags (BBPB) to tackle the pressing issue of pollution affecting Bali, Indonesia. Four years later, BBPB has become an international movement to eliminate plastic bags and return the harmony between citizens and their environment. Believing that knowledge is the source for change, Melati and Isabel created a 25-page booklet on waste management, recycling and youth action. They are working with the government to implement their curriculum throughout all Indonesian schools. In 2014, BBPB signed an MOU with Governor Bp. Mangku Pastika to make Bali completely plastic bag-free by 2018. BBPB’s One Island One Voice campaign encourages plastic bag-free businesses, and has even inspired Bali’s airport to officially ban plastic bags. Last year, Melati and Isabel gave a powerful TED talk with more than 1 million views to date. With BBPB chapters already in Australia, Jakarta, Guadalajara, New York, Nepal, Myanmar, China, Singapore and the Philippines, they have requests pouring in to open chapters in many more countries.