Keep It Clean!
Paola Cannucciari shares about improving the environment for a better future...
Despite its numerous paradise beaches, Bali has one big problem – trash. How do we solve this problem? Meet Paola Cannucciari (PC), the program manager of EcoBali, a responsible waste management company that aims to contribute actively to a better solid waste management in Bali. She talked to Bali & Beyond (BB), about the environment and what she and her team have been doing to keep the island clean.
BB: Could you please share about your background?
PC: I have been working on environmental issues for more than 26 years. I was relocated to Bali in 2001, and I’ve been working here ever since. My husband is Balinese and I have my Balinese family here. For me, home is where you live. I have been to Sumatra and Papua, but I decided to reside in Bali and establish a waste management enterprise here.
BB: What was the biggest environmental issue that inspired you to develop EcoBali?
PC: I believe that waste management is a big issue not just in Indonesia but also in the world. As someone who has been working on environmental issues, I could see at the time that waste was a problem, with lack of awareness and proper systems and solutions. I think everyone needs to take responsibility and action to reduce as much as possible the waste they are producing daily.
BB: What is your current project with EcoBali?
PC: Our work has a holistic approach, and our main vision is “to enable a zero waste lifestyle.” We offer a waste collection service for all types of non-organic waste and offer composting systems for the organic fraction so people can compost at home. We run our own sorting facilities, and we have waste banks programs in collaboration with companies, communities, hotels, and schools. We try to find ways and solutions to increase the amount of waste that can be recycled to reduce the residue at a very minimum. Yet, there are many challenges. Many people are not mindful yet of what happen to their waste and how they can reduce it, but we always keep striving. We know there are many people that are enthusiastic about contributing positively to the environment.
BB: How do you keep yourself and the whole team motivated when there are people who are still careless about the environment?
PC: We always re-evaluate everything we do. We know that we are not alone as we are collaborating with so many parties to tackle the problem. We know that this work won’t be done in one or two years. This is a long-term project and we cannot be discouraged.
BB: What is your expectation upon Bali environment?
PC: There are many groups working on environmental issues in Bali. There has been some improvement but still a lot needs to be done, especially in waste management. We hope to see more continuous actions to prevent and better waste management. I hope people will be more aware of their responsibilities as consumers. We are happy to collaborate with Bye Bye Plastic Bag, a group that bans the use of plastic bags and encourages people to use reusable bags for grocery shopping. We also produce reusable bags, because we know we cannot push people to stop using plastic bags without giving them a solution or an alternative.
The most important thing is that everybody needs to start doing something to improve the environment. Ask yourself, “What is my new resolution this year? Stop using plastic bags? Stop using plastic straws?” There are a few steps that can be done. Start by saying no to the use of straws and plastic bags, and make it happen. It is all about personal commitment.
BB: With all of the things that you have done with the environment, how do you want to be described or known?
PC: I don’t need to be described or known. I am just a person working on environmental issues with focus on waste management, and my job is one of my passions. Waste management is such a broad topic as it allows us to interact and work at so many levels from industrial dynamics to regulations, design, behavior, and more, and those provide us all the possibility to work in exploring and working on so many needed changes for the better wellbeing of humanity.
BB: How do you personally want the Bali environment to be like in the future?
PC: I want people to enjoy Bali, to be able to go to the beach or the mountains without having to see plastic everywhere. But in order to enjoy it, we all should take action to keep Bali clean.
Jalan Raya Padonan, Kuta Utara
By Wiwin Wirwidya
Magazine issue > Profile&Potrait