Green Talk is a blog series featuring interviews with people working in environmental science, circular design, sustainability and green business. We tell stories of kick ass people and their passion!
Silvija Rumiha is the founder of Zero Waste Bali the first zero waste bulk store in Indonesia which opened in May 2018.
MP. Where did the idea for Zero Waste Bali come from?
Silvija. During a family snorkelling trip swimming with Manta Rays there was so much plastic in the ocean that it freaked me out and I sat on the boat instead of being in the ocean. At that point I decided to make a change. Having another business Mini Muncher I immediately made changes upon my return to Bali. Previously the products were in plastic containers and I decided to change from plastic to glass jars and go label free too! Slowly I started to bring out the wholefoods I had into the kitchen to the front of the store and decided to open Bali and Indonesia’s 1st Zero Waste and Plastic Free Bulk Food Store.
MP. Where do you get the goods for the shop?
Silvija. I try to source as much local products as possible but we also stock some imported products too.
MP. Why do you think Bali has such a big problem with plastic waste?
Silvija. We live in a throw away society where most people seek convenience. Products are wrapped in plastic especially fast grab and go varieties and people haven’t been educated on the effects that plastic has on our environment. Proper waste management isn’t something that most people are aware of and littering is accepted due to lack of knowledge of the effects that plastic have on the environment.
MP. Who is your customer and what is the feedback you get form your customers?
Silvija. Since opening 10 months ago our customers have varied from expats, indonesians and travellers. People who come to the stores love the concept and many thank me personally for opening the store and are so very accepting of the concept. There are others who have never been to a bulk food store and come asking questions on how to begin. It makes me super happy seeing more and more locals embrace the zero waste concept and begin to change their lifestyle.
MP. What do you see as the best way to change attitudes toward single use items such as plastic?
Silvija. Leading by example and showing others simple changes that can be made has a great impact I believe. Starting small with simple swaps in daily routine will lead to other changes too.
MP. How can tourists visiting the beautiful island of Bali help keep the island trash free and contribute to a healthy, happy local community?
Silvija. If all travellers would bring reusables on their holiday such as water bottles, straws, bags and lunch containers for when on the go or buying take away food this would make a huge difference to Bali. Being mindful about the trash they produce, avoid foods in single use packaging and whenever possible shop at a bulk food store or local markets..
MP. Do you collaborate with any other local organizations or people working with sustainability?
MP. What does a perfect day look like to you?
Silvija. I am grateful to be living in Bali and share moments with my family whilst reducing waste going to landfill and ocean. Regarding what is a perfect day well... each day being in Bali is PERFECT.
Find Zero Waste Bali online
Photo credit Silvija Rumiha