The Race for a Plastic Free Paradise

This year’s Gili Strong Triathlon was a huge success with more than 100 athletes competing in Gili Trawangan’s latest huge fundraising event. It was the 6th sporting event taking place on the island, raising money and awareness for the solutions in waste management trying to improve this exhausted infrastructure on our little island.


The day started with a buzz at Fat Cat’s restaurant where athletes and spectators could fuel up on cocktail and lunchtime specials ready for the big race around 4pm; Hoping it would have been a little cooler by then! Registration took place on the beach, with police assisting with health and safety.


Following the route around Gili Trawangan’s sandy paths and streets, the swim took participants out on the Trawangan Dive boat to start the race with a 500meter swim in the ocean. Luckily it was flat, calm and perfect conditions! This followed by a huge rush of people leaping and jumping onto bikes to complete the 7km circular path around Gili Trawangan on their bikes, hurtling through sand and uneven roads racing to Sama Sama where all bikes here quickly deposited, and the running race began. The finish line, better than ever before was full of spectators cheering, drinking and egging them on. There was a glorious ceremony for the winners in the teams and individuals:

  • 1st Yan Bahtiar 40:48:00
  • 2nd M. Kadri 43:55:00
  • 3rd Dodo 46:26:00

And teams:

  • 1st Lombok Cycling Team 39:20:00
  • 2nd Team Relay RCC 40:13:00
  • 3rd Team Relay Lombok Triathlon Academy 42:30:00

Record number of sign ups!

We had 28 teams signing up with 2 or 3 people per team, along with a 35 individuals making a total of 116 participants, amazing! The registration fees totaled 10,600,000rp went directly into the fundraiser goal as this year the government (KONI) allocated funding for the prizes for the above winners, along with some great prizes that were kindly donated by some of the island and Lombok businesses.

Lucky raffle prizes
We made 12,800,000rp with raffle tickets alone, for lots of eager people wanting a chance to win one of more than 70 prizes that were up for grabs! The raffle was drawn in Sama Sama, along with great live music and amazing atmosphere of partying athletes proud to be across the finish line. 

Our little pop up eco market stall was at the Gili Festival for 3 days post triathlon where people could learn about our projects or pick up a sustainable gift, or zero waste product, and in total it made 3,739,000.

Where the funds will be going

Regrettably, after reviewing the aluminum barge, costs have soared to beyond 1,5billion in total, meaning that this is not a viable option for us shipping rubbish off Gili Trawangan anymore. Instead the company that has been temporarily picking up the rubbish and shipping it via multiple local boats, has offered a better deal of 2,5million rupiah per load of rubbish (approx. every 2 weeks-1month) including all porters, transport, fuel and shipping costs. This would mean we won’t have to employ a captain, anchor staff, maintenance of boat, safe mooring of boat in Lombok etc which would offload a lot of extra expenses, organization and stress of Gili Eco Trust owning our own barge.

What will we spend the money on instead?

Still in improving our waste management streams for our eventual goal of a zero waste to landfill island, don’t you worry about that!

We hope to increase the efficiency of the existing daily waste collection services, with the purchase of one or two additional secondhand pickup trucks in exchange for the current smaller motorbike trucks. They can carry a larger volume of rubbish at once making it more economic, fewer trips will be needed resulting in less air pollution. They are also a lot quieter, so we hope this reduces the noise complaints about the trash bikes we have at present.

FMPL’s latest talks with government about waste facilities in the middle of the island have started to address concerns with access throughout rainy season as like every year. We need a new road concreted before rainy season, now that our existing access road will be blocked with the new TPST (integrated waste separation and recycling facility). In previous years we have very limited access to the dump in rainy season, due to location on low lying marsh land. It makes it near impossible to get horse carts of trucks to deliver glass bottle collections to dump, as well as to get glass sand to the brick factory.

After talks with the regional government, we have authorization to rent an excavator to relocate rubbish off the existing access road. Although they have excavators they were happy to lend, are too large for our little island and they won’t help financially to rent a smaller more suitable one, so for 2 to 4million a day we will be renting an excavator and staff to clear the rubbish back to intended location. This would take up to 2-3 weeks to be completed before rainy season hits.

We are very excited that the government in Jakarta has found a new contractor for the completion of the Integrated recycling facility next to the dump, building materials have been laid down, and they have proposed it shall be finished by the end of 2019! So, here is hoping to a very productive beginning of 2020 with the launch of our GETWasted event and establishment of the Eco Ranger Patrol.

For any further questions regarding this please contact

Be sure to keep up your training for the next scheduled Gili Triathlon on October 24th 2020!