While pristine beaches are a big sell in Bali, what they don’t tell you is the island’s major problem with waste and plastic pollution.
Following a government-declared ‘garbage emergency’ early last year, Bali’s waste problem was brought to fore the in March when Bali resident and diver Rich Horner filmed himself swimming through swathes of rubbish off the coast of Bali. After the video went viral, many grassroots efforts took off including beach clean-ups.
For some time now, boutique hospitality group Two Roads Hospitality – who runs four Alila properties in Bali – have been motivated to do their part. While many hotel groups tout their CSR and sustainability efforts, Two Roads has the luxury of being a small enough group to take matters into their own hands.
Their new zero waste policy means tackling waste at its source and recycling it into useful resources. One such effort was building an on-site laboratory where all waste streams are transformed into higher-value products and services through a series of simple biological engineering systems.
For instance, plastics, glass and ceramics are shredded and crushed to produce aggregate, sand and fibre which is reused to produce green building materials. Uneconomical waste plastics such as wraps and films are converted into a light crude oil that is distilled down to diesel, kerosene and gasoline for reuse in the hotels.
On top of that, each Bali property has an organic garden worked into guest experiences in the form of cooking classes and permaculture garden activities. According to Guy Heywood, COO of Alila Hotels & Resorts, it’s important that guests are involved in these efforts. He added that while Alila is a small fish in the sea of large hotel chains on the island, he’s positive that guests and hoteliers are more aware.
On another note, Two Roads Hospitality was recently acquired by Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Heywood said the buy-out will not impact Alila’s sustainability efforts.