Waste Management in very Touristic Area: Gili Trawangan Innovation and Education towards Zero Waste

Published: 04 March 2019
Last edited: 11 March 2021
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Gili Trawangan is a touristic little island in the north of Lombok, Indonesia. For the last 15 years, tourism has “exploded” from about 10,000 tourists a year, we are now over a million of tourists visiting Trawangan every year. All these tourists come to enjoy the paradise island without pollution as no car and no motorbike, and to enjoy the turquoise waters to swim, snorkel and scuba dive. But in reality the development of the businesses and the number of tourists is dangerously threatening the little paradise from drowning under rubbish and sewage pollution as the infrastructures on the island are not in place for a proper management of the 20 tons of rubbish collected every single day. Lombok and Gili have now been hit by series of earthquakes and we want to take this opportunity to start over with waste management towards eco-tourism. The Gili Eco Trust is actively involved in recycling, upcycling, education and sustainable solutions to local communities for a better future.


Southeast Asia
Scale of implementation
Coral reef
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Local actors
Marine litter
Sustainable livelihoods
Waste management
Land and Forest degradation
Ocean warming and acidification
Sea level rise
Tsunami/tidal wave
Ecosystem loss
Pollution (incl. eutrophication and litter)
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Inefficient management of financial resources
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Changes in socio-cultural context
Lack of technical capacity
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Lack of infrastructure
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 4 – Quality education
SDG 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 6: Sustainable management of aquatic living resources
Target 8: Pollution reduced
Target 11: Protected areas
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Sendai Framework
Target 6: Enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with associations


Gili Trawangan, Lombok Utara, 83352, Indonesia | Gili Air, Gili Meno, Lombok
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When working with waste and local communities, the first challenge is to make people responsible of their own waste. While working with so many differents kind of people, we have to find a way of educating everyone at their different social level as well as with their different life style. The Green Patrol with the Eco rangers should be able to adapt tools, educational tools as well as demonstration depending on their "students": stakeholders, local communities, employees, owners, expats...etc

With constant eyes on the island (Green Patrol), we want to make sure no more illegal dumping happens, all the waste should end in the sorting facilities and not on empty land polluting land, well water and oceans.

For the success of the Green Patrol, we need a good team of Eco Rangers with local people feeling responsible of the future of their island but also willing to teach people for a real change. The budget for the green patrol with at least 10 eco rangers is still a big challenge for us.


local communities


Stakeholders and tourism activities


local associations

near by island and all Indonesia as we want to scale up our system to many locations

How do the building blocks interact?

This project is an integrated project with many actions, short and long term goals, and many people, businesses and communities involved. This project is a combination of many projects and actions to ensure that zero waste goal is reach for Gili Trawangan. We want to combine raising awareness and education of the local communities and tourism businesses how to be sustainable in terms of waste management, soil and reef restoration, use of local facilities and solutions in place.

The buildings blocks interact as the glass upcycling project is our way of reducing the amount of solid waste ending up on the landfill. Without the glass upcycling projects, which are running for the last 6 years, our "dump" or landfill would have been about 3 times the size it is actually. Everything about waste is connected and interact with one another. Waste selection from its source is the key to success for our project and we think it can only work with repetitions of the waste selection education.

If everyone select their waste according to our 5 categories, then there is no glass waste on the dump (all transformed and upcycled) and the anorganic rubbish can be selected again to reduce the amount of residu.


Our solution will impact the whole island as it grows its network through the Green Patrol and Gili Green Award, more and more people will be aware of our goals and objectives, and the facilities are on the island too to see the type of waste, how much recycling is done, and how much residue is left. How many hotels would sign in the Gili Green Award is the key for us to establish a global network of consciousness for the best future of Gili Trawangan.

It will impact not only the environment because the waste will be selected and disposed properly, but it will impact the local communities and the tourists who will proudly say that they have learned about the waste selection and how to reduce their consumption of single use plastic.

Tourism will be impacted too, the island will become an example of eco and green tourism for the rest of Indonesia. Businesses on the island will be able to market Gili Trawangan as a green and eco destination where everyone is working together for a greener future.

Repetitive education is our way to garantee the success of waste management towards zero waste. Waste selected from its source with aware communities will make sure the amount of waste going to landfill is reduced at its lowest amount.

Eco pledge for tourists, daily education and checks, Gili Green Award, rubbish bank, Trash App: all projects combine towards zero waste as a main impact



After creating a base of waste management in a sustainable and educational way with a complete network with all Gili Trawangan businesses and communities, we would like to expand our projects for even more recycling and upcycling, composting a bigger volume of organic waste with more land and being able to start some bigger permaculture projects, more people trained so the project can be replicated in other islands in Indonesia and all over the world. We would also expand our projects to tackle the marine pollution through disposable plastics by working with more communities in Lombok which would collect rubbish instead of dumping in river beds and littering all over the primitive island. So free workshops will be organised for each villages and communities.


Our long term goal will be to use the awareness & traction we have generated through this project to raise additional funding for the implementation of some locally empowered eco-rules such as: banning plastic bags and plastic straws and encouraging refill water stations rather than buying disposable water bottles.


The well being and the future of this island and making it sustainable is my job, my dream and my life goal. I will be working full time on that project to manage the combination of projects that we have put in place and that we want to expand. I will need to delegate to be successful, so I will hire new people who help me manage all these actions and becoming bigger for larger in terms of networking and creating an example. Our goal is to educate as many people as possible, with repetitive education and raising awareness about our environment, waste, sewage, solutions, we hope to get many people feeling responsible of their impacts as well as some becoming true eco warriors to help their island become an eco example of green tourism integrating education towards sustainability and zero waste.


Contributed by

Delphine Robbe Yayasan Ekosistem Gili Indah / Gili Eco Trust

Other contributors

Green Generation and Waste 4 change