Seventeen Coastal Beach Hotels have pledged to support Kenya Tourism Federation, UN Environment and Eco-Tourism Kenya in their efforts to create a plastic-free East African Coastline.
In the past few months, hotel companies and resorts around the globe have lined up in the war against single-use plastic in a quest to reduce the number of plastic waste deposits that finds its way to the ocean and inevitably endangering aquatic life.
Joining the rest of the world in the fight against plastic waste are seventeen Coastal beach hotels pledging to support UN Environment’s efforts to create a plastic-free East African Coastline by banning the use of plastic bottles and straws in their properties. The hotels include Serena Beach Resort and Spa, Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa, Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa, Tamarind Mombasa, The Sands in Chale Island, Swahili Beach Resort among others.
“We now offer mineral water in glass bottles at our restaurants for sale to our guests. We also educate and inspire our employees and guests on the conservation initiatives in place,” said Tuva Mwahunga, the General Manager at Serena Beach Resort and Spa
Hotels such as Serena Beach Resort and Spa have replaced single-use small guest amenities bottles – such as shampoo, shower gel, lotion – in the guest bathrooms that would typically go to the landfills with refillable dispensers. Apart from the amenity bottles, hotels such as Serena Beach have also replaced single-use plastic water bottles from meeting rooms and opting to serve water on a Carafe. Starting April 2018, 23,143 single-use half litre bottles have been eliminated.
Straws, a big contributor of plastic waste in the environment/oceans, have been replaced with biodegradable paper straws, eliminating 12,000 plastic straws in one year while the countrywide ban of paper bags necessitated the alternative solutions and in close to two years, 81,000 single-use bags have been eliminated.
“In the process of eliminating all single-use plastic within its premises, we are working on replacing plastic mineral water bottles with glass bottles. Diani Reef is working on a deadline of March 1,” stated Bobby Kamani, Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa Managing Director, “Bamboo straws will also replace plastic straws.
Kenya’s fight on single-use plastic is definitely on the right track. Just a few years back, Kenya banned single-use plastic bags and flat bags and imposed jail terms as well as fines. This was followed by a successful campaign by Flipflopi where they launched the world’s first flip-flop boat, made entirely of recycled marine plastic and flip-flops into the Indian Ocean in efforts to send a global message against the single use of plastic.
This sustainability battle will come with its challenges and push back but just we fight poaching of wild animals, so must we protect the aquatic life.