LUX* South Ari Atoll has launched an ambitious year-long plan to combat plastic pollution.
At a ceremony held at the resort’s multi purpose court Friday evening to kick start the initiative, reusable flasks were given to all team members to be used for drinking water. The flasks will replace the plastic water bottles used by the 350 plus employees at the resort.
Speaking at the ceremony, General Manager Jonas Amstad expressed hope that the resort would be completely plastic free within a year. Even achieving 50 percent of that ambitious target would be a huge milestone for the resort as well as to entire the tourism industry of the Maldives, he added.
“We’re here as guests. And as guests, we’ve to take care of the environment and leave it behind as it is for our future generations,” Jonas said.
“This will be a team effort. We can achieve it with the help of each and every member of our team. We’ll also welcome any initiatives that will help us achieve this goal. So, if you’ve any ideas, please do share them with us.”
As part of the ambitious plan, Executive Housekeeper Amarajith Ranaweersingha unveiled a specially-made reusable garbage bag to be used by housekeeping staff. The bag, sewn in-house, will replace the 22,000 single-use plastic bags used per annum by the room attendants.
“We’re in the process of sewing these bags. Once we’ve enough bags, our housekeeping staff will entirely shift to these bags. Each bag will last five months,” Amarajith said.
Executive Chef Dave Minten also announced a plan to set up an organic vegetable farm on the island, in partnership with an international company. The hydroponic farming system would be built inside a 40-foot shipping container, and would produce about two to four tonnes of vegetables and herbs per year, he added.
“When we airlift a lot of expensive vegetables and herbs, they come in styrofoam boxes and with plastic wrapping. Our island farm will not only provide our guests with fresh farm-to-table dishes, but we’ll also be able to eliminate a lot of plastic,” Dave said.
Meanwhile, Director of Engineering Paul Smith Rose revealed an upcoming solar power project that aims to provide at least 30 percent of the resort’s energy from renewable sources by 2019. Installation of solar panels is expected to begin in December, with them up and running early next year, he added.
“Our plan is to produce over one megawatts of power from solar panels installed on the island as well from those floating in the sea. In the first phase, at least 500 kilowatts will be produced,” Paul said.
Under the year-long plan, LUX* South Ari Atoll has also discontinued the use of single-use, plastic drinking straws. Guests are now served drinks without any straws; if they request for a straw, eco-friendly paper straws are provided instead of plastic.
While plastic is one of the most defining inventions of our time, its negative environmental impact is undeniable. Globally, 300 million tons of plastic are produced on an annual basis and around 8.8 million tons are dumped into the oceans.
The problem is found in every known ecosystem and at every level of the food chain. If current marine pollution trends continue, the oceans will contain more plastic than fish by the year 2050.
The latest initiative is amongst a number of green projects undertaken by LUX* South Ari Atoll. The resort teamed up with local telecom giant Dhiraagu last year to launch a campaign aimed at replacing all plastic bags used by staff members with reusable bags.
These green initiatives by LUX* South Ari Atoll are part of a wider commitment by parent company LUX* Resorts and Hotels.
The Mauritius based hotel chain was recently recognised for its voluntary commitment to invest in sustainable tourism projects, with flagship initiatives such as Tread Lightly by LUX* and Ray of Light by LUX* where it goes beyond legal compliance to protect the environment and uplift host communities.
Cutting-edge designer villas and world-class dining can be found only a 30-minute seaplane flight away from the main Velana International Airport, making LUX* South Ari Atoll one of the most exciting resorts in the Maldives.
With 187 private villas dotted at the water’s edge along four kilometres of powder fine beach or perched on stilts above a crystal clear lagoon, these spacious pavilions and villas bring an entirely original vibe of coastal, beach house chic to the Maldives.
Excellent eating and drinking is always a cut above the rest at LUX*, and at LUX* South Ari Atoll, there is authentic South East Asian street food in the Maldives’ only over-the-water gourmet night market and world-class Chinese cuisine at East, along with the Japanese restaurant Umami, which offers live teppanyaki and dazzling selection of sakés.
While the resort has a PADI-certified dive centre, two infinity pools, a floodlit tennis court, a fitness centre and a renowned spa which hosts a wellness concierge and a menu of indulgent treatments, what sets the property apart from its neighbours are surprises, or better known as #ReasonstogoLUX. Designed to create lasting memories for guests, these ‘reasons’ can range from island-roasted coffee in Café LUX* to impromptu movie screenings at cinema paradise and the chance to hang your wishes on the Tree of Wishes.