About the Bali Partnership Platform


About the Bali Partnership Platform

Bali is often referred to as the island of “holy water” because of the countless number of sacred springs on Bali, used in purification rituals to cleanse the body on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. Where water flows life flourishes. harvests are abundant and communities thrive.

Bali’s water runs through 400 rivers, flowing towards the ocean. In fact, between coasts, rivers and lakes there are 3,500 thousand kilometers of waterways with more than 90% of people living within 1 kilometer of a river.

Yet last year, 33 thousand tonnes of plastic waste traveled down these waterways into rivers and into the ocean, polluting Bali’s fragile marine ecosystems. 33 thousand tonnes annually is 90 tonnes per day – the weight of 13 African elephants per day.

This platform is dedicated to sharing how, why and where this is happening based on extensive primary field research and innovative modelling by a team from the Bali Governor’s office, Bali’s Environmental Agency, Faculty of Marine Science and Fisheries – Udayana University, the University of Leeds, the International Solid Waste Association and SYSTEMIQ in late 2019 . The ultimate goal is to support the Bali Governor’s aim to lead Indonesia’s efforts to reduce ocean plastic levels 70% by 2025, in line with the President’s commitment.

Traditional Bali boat at sunrise
Plastic Waste

Highlights from the study

303,000 tonnes

Bali residents, tourists and organisations generate 1.6 million tonnes of waste per year (TPY), of which 303,000 tonnes is plastic (19.6% of total waste).

33,000 tonnes

33,000 tonnes of plastic are leaking into waterways from Bali every year (11% of total plastic waste).


Approximately 48% of Bali’s waste is responsibly managed either through recycling or landfill. However, a significant portion of collected waste never reaches a recycling facility or any of Bali’s 10 official landfills.


7% of Bali’s plastic waste is collected for recycling, with 20% of household leveraging the informal sector to recycle their waste, and 6% using waste banks.


Bali’s 16 million tourists (6 million international and 10 million domestic) generate 3.5x more waste per day than residents, accounting for 13% of Bali’s total waste.


Bali residents are ready for change: 87% are willing to sort waste and are ready to make the effort to reduce, reuse and recycle.

15 = 44% leakage

Focused effort to solving waste challenges in 15 of the 57 sub-districts of Bali will reduce Bali’s ocean plastic by 44%.


More than 400 community, private-sector, government and cultural and religious organisations are active in clean-ups, education, waste collection, and recycling.

Bird on branch
Bali riverbed polluted with waste and rubbish

Methodology description

The research was conducted using both primary and secondary data collected through several methodologies and applied in a model called the Plastic Pollution Calculator developed by ISWA and the University of Leeds.

Household waste behaviour surveys: surveys were conducted for 949 households in 9 regencies in Bali, of both rural and urban households to understand current waste behaviour and perceptions.

Waste generation and characterization surveys: A total of 234 surveys were conducted to estimate waste generation amount, density and characterization including:

  • 189 households – 21 households in 9 regencies with 7 household for each income level (low, medium, high) were surveyed for 8 days
  • 27 schools were surveyed for 8 days in 9 regencies
  • 18 offices were also surveyed for 8 days in 9 regencies

Landfill tracking: Each of the 10 official landfills in Bali were tracked with the help of governmental agencies (Environmental Department) for 8 days. The origin of waste (sub-districts), type of vehicles and volume of waste received daily (density used = 0,25 ton/m3) were tracked.

In addition, numerous interviews with environmental agencies and other government officials, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, associations, the informal recycling sector, and key individuals were conducted.

1National Indonesian National Standardization (SNI) methodology was applied in conducting the surveys.

  • Master Plans or Perencanaan Teknik dan Manajemen Persampahan (PTMP) of all of the 9 regencies in Bali were reviewed and analysed. Data from those PTMP were used and a rigorous analysis was made from sufficient sampling of the primary data.
  • I Made Wahyu Widyarsana and Enri Damanhuri (Institute Technology of Bandung/ITB): Sistem Pengelolaan Sampah di Bali, ITB Press, 2018, research results were incorporated as well as their household waste generation findings.
  • Kabupaten Dalam Angka 2018 (Badan Pusat Statistik) from 9 regencies in Bali
  • Thematic maps from the government
  • Land use, slope, elevation, perennial and non-perennial rivers and rainfall data was incorporated to build Bali’s watersheds and estimate rivers with highest plastic load
  • The tourism sector was analysed including number of hotels, hotel occupancy rates, Tourism Agency domestic and international tourism statistics and waste generated at known tourism hotspots (i.e., Monkey Forest in Ubud)
Female portrait

Research contributors

The Bali Waste Platform is a result of a five-month research effort by the Bali Partnership, in a partnership with Bali Governor’s Waste Management Task Force, and the Provincial Environmental Agency (DLHK), Udayana University, the University of Leeds, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), and SYSTEMIQ, as well as the nine Bali regency Environmental Agencies.

The information was prepared by SYSTEMIQ. Though the information herein is believed to be reliable and has been obtained from the methodology described above and public sources believed to be reliable, SYSTEMIQ makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness.

The research was conducted using both primary and secondary data collected through several methodologies and applied in a model called the Plastic Pollution Calculator developed by ISWA and the University of Leeds.

The primary data was collected by University of Udayana in Bali, SYSTEMIQ with the support of DLH (the government environmental agency).

The Bali Partnership team would like to thank you the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs which funded the study. The content is solely the responsibility of the Bali Partnership team and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Norwegian Government.