This week was marked by two important events: World Environment Day on the 5th of June and World Oceans Day on the 8th of June.
This year’s themes are: “Beat Plastic Pollution” for World Environment Day and “Preventing Plastic Pollution and Encouraging Solutions for a Healthy Ocean” for World Oceans Day.
Soneva Fushi has been since many years at the forefront of this. Since day one, Soneva never introduced plastic straws and all our room amenities have always been either in ceramic or paper wrapping. Soneva Fushi banned plastic bottles in 2008 and recently has started a Maker Space, where the aim is to transform plastic into more valuable objects for the resorts.
In February 2016 a report from Ellen MacArthur Foundation analysed the data on plastic production and disposal and estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the Ocean than Fish. Although estimates are always a bit tricky, it is undeniable that more and more plastic is found daily in the oceans and on beaches. Even the pristine islands in the Maldives when not constantly cleaned have trash scattered around the shorelines.
Above images from: https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/
Recently, perhaps as a result of an increased awareness following a few media communications, there has been a positive movement in changing people’s behaviour, either banning plastic products or offering better solutions. There is still a lot to do, people’s habits need to change, cost of alternatives products need to decrease, alternatives need to be found…
Each of our Resorts in the past week has organised few activities to involve guests and hosts in these Celebrations.
Soneva Fushi organised an Eco-Centro and Maker Space tour for World Environment Day and shown Avatar at Cinema Paradiso.
For World Oceans Day Soneva Fushi organized an island clean with a difference. 30 guests and hosts traveled to the nearby uninhabited Mendhoo island which is a core area of the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to clean up ocean plastic and trash that had washed ashore from the ocean. Where this cleanup differs is we will complete the full recycle 360 process. Over the next months our eco-centro will run maker projects to convert the plastic into fun products that the very guests who collected the trash (and others) will be able to use to to enjoy our oceans. This might include surfboard fins, learn to swim floats and other fun water toys – thus providing a way to remove plastic, convert and then reintroduce it a way that is safe way that allows us to appreciate our oceans. Enjoy don’t destroy.
To finish the day, guests were invited to Cinema Paradiso to watch “A Plastic Ocean”.
At Soneva Jani, we decided to focus on each stage of tackling plastic waste. The activities we ran for guests and hosts ranged from intercepting plastic waste from the ocean by reef cleaning, up-cycling plastic bottles to create a hanging garden in the host village, to conducting a tour of eco-centro to encourage us to change our perspective on waste and how we live our lives. Ellie, conducted a presentation on plastic and Blue Planet II was screened at Cinema Paradiso.
At Soneva Kiri, we had an incredibly fun and educational Environment Week, with several activities every single day. For hosts, it ranged from planting lime trees in the host village, which will each get a name tag of the planter, to a picnic in the mangroves with Eline. Our guests got to experience the healing effects of connecting their hands to the Earth in the Eco Centro, and appreciate how the Earth supports us all by planting vegetables. Finally, on World Oceans Day, a group of volunteers went to Ao Prao school to teach the children about the life cycle of plastic bottles, and why it’s better to carry a reusable one. We were delighted to see how proud the children were of their stainless steel bottles that had been kindly donated a month earlier by a Soneva Kiri guest.
We sincerely you’ll join us in one of our future adventures!