2017 Waste Management in Retrospect

There still needs a lot to be done, but we have undeniably made great achievements in 2017. Here’s a look back at our accomplishments and what we can further do together in 2018!

Waste is a challenge affecting us all. It’s easy to snap photos of a littered beach, post them on social media and complain about the unsavory sight. It is important to raise awareness, but the next step needs to be the focus on solutions. And there we need to start with ourselves

So how do we start? Take action and pick up the waste. Or, if you don’t feel like doing it alone, go ahead and join community groups who hold routine beach clean-ups along the coasts of Bali almost every week. On a personal level, start by sorting your own waste at home, and turn your biodegradable waste into soil-nourishing compost.

Snap yourself doing great pro environmental action and share on social media!

The rainy season at the end of the year is a particularly disconcerting time—once the rain flushes waste to the ocean, the waves will carry a stream of waste onto the shore. According to recent news, Badung’s Environmental Agency has collected around 477 tons (and more surely to come) of waste in the southern coastline of Bali in December alone. And, brace yourself, because there will be more to come.

But, in general, there are good tidings on the environmental front in 2017. Dealing with waste in a responsible manner has suddenly become imperative for all of us, from prevention to innovative ways of using discarded materials. And many things are now available to us. Last year, we have seen the battle against the use of straws picking up, more and more businesses are finally converting into using refillable water bottles and hooking with initiatives around the world, including Bali. Plus the call-to-action voices by independent groups like  Malu Dong, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Refill Bali, just to name a few, have already reverberated beyond the archipelago.

“What people should realize about environmental degradation is that us humans are actually the ones endangered by the consequence of our actions,” says Paola Cannucciari, Program Manager of ecoBali. “And therefore we humans are also the solution. We are in times of changes and innovations and we cannot afford to just watch but we all need to take part, no matter how small our actions are.”

Minimizing Impact

Around 65 % of waste produced by the Balinese population are biodegradable—beneficial waste when turned into compost—while some of the rest, when sorted properly, are recyclables (plastic, paper, cartons, glass, metal) that can be transformed into useful products. ecoBali has helped collect more than 6000 tons of waste since its inception in 2006, and from that number, around 2100 tons of plastic bags have been recovered and recycled.

Wide ranging programs and activities are offered by ecoBali to help minimize the impact of waste to the environment, and last  year we’ve collected in total around 500 tons of waste, 80% of which could be recycled; we’ve installed more than 80 composting systems (big shout out to the game changers – you know who you are!), 90 percent being in households; increased awareness amongst children and teenagers across 26 schools through our school programs; established more than 10 waste banks in schools, businesses, and communities; welcoming 15 visits/socializations in our sorting center from schools and companies like  Bali Buda and The Body Shop; and we participated in 25 events that includes Ubud Village Jazz Festival, TedX Ubud, Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, TrashStock Festival, and Malu Dong Festival.

That is not even mentioning the numerous small-scale beach clean-ups in Canggu and Sanur that ecoBali is regularly supporting: we’ve collaborated with nine organizers to help clean the beaches of Bali, including one time event like Bye Bye Plastic Bags’ Bali Biggest Beach Clean Up to regular ones like the one held by the Canggu Community four times a month.

“As for the Adopt-a-School program, in 2018 we aim to connect it with our waste bank program, “This is Not Waste,”  says Ni Made Dwi Septiantari, Education Coordinator of ecoBali. “We want to encourage the schools to create their own waste banks so our campaign is not just about waste sorting but can also be more specific, and to add a nominal value to it.”

.For sure, in 2018 ecoBali will be further committed to realize their mission to promote a responsible waste management and sustainable lifestyle in Bali. “We will continue to increase our ability to make a difference, and work more with communities especially in surrounding areas,” says Paola. “We will work harder to minimize waste, specifically reducing plastic waste through the continuous promotion of our reusable shopping bags; we also want to increase the collection of recyclables and create innovative solutions so we can all have better opportunities to adopt a zero waste lifestyle. Let’s make a difference together!”






  1. Kees Lafeber (Maluku Competence) says:

    I appreciate Eco Bali works very much. Two weeks ago I visited your Office. Representing Maluku Competence. We ate a starting foundation at Saparua island, Maluku. This week I will be in Bali again and would like to buy as much bags I can take with me by plain. We discussed your logisticss and decided to follow your example within our waste pilot Saparua. Could we discuss this?

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