Marking 25 years as a responsible hospitality organization, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru organized a cleanup in the Maldives’ capital city Malé, supporting both the International Coastal Cleanup and World Cleanup Day 2019.
The Maldives is somewhat of a haven, pristine white sand beaches lined with swaying palm trees and endless blue sky that melts into the aqua-marine waters, surrounding some 1,200 islands that are scattered across the Indian Ocean. Nevertheless, it is easy to overlook the current challenges being faced to maintain this picture-perfect, diverse and abundant ecosystem. Each year, 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into our oceans, with the Maldives being especially impacted; since only 1 percent of the entire Maldives is covered with the land while 99 percent is open ocean. Like a giant sieve, these fragile coral islands sift through the marine garbage circulating the Indian Ocean. One only needs to walk around the shorelines of these islands or beside the ferry terminals in the capital city Malé to experience the issues faced by the country, in regard to effective waste management.
Cleaning activities organized by Banyan Tree, and held in collaboration with local partners and communities, aim to remediate and cleanse local surroundings, to maintain the pristine environment for all society to enjoy. Banyan Tree aims to conduct a minimum of four clean-ups per year to raise awareness about effective waste management. So far in 2019, over one tonne of waste has been collected with the help of more than 750 people; engaging local councils, community members, school children and both guests and associates from the two Banyan Tree properties in North Male’ Atoll. The organization believes that it is essential to raise awareness about the importance of responsible consumption and production to combat the wider problem. Since pledging to become single-use plastic free on Earth Day 2018, the two Banyan Tree properties have achieved a combined total reduction of 75% of targeted categories of single-use plastic items, including the complete elimination of items such as straws, plastic bottles, cocktail stirrers, takeaway containers and disposable cutlery. The ambitious target of eliminating 100% of single-use plastic items across all 43 Banyan Tree Properties worldwide, remains the ultimate goal.
This year, the Banyan Tree Group celebrates its 25th Anniversary, a significant milestone marking its unique journey rooted in sustainability, from the very first Banyan Tree property – an abandoned tin mine in Phuket that began with a painstaking task of cleansing and remediating the toxic and polluted land surrounding. This led to the creation of Asia’s first and largest integrated resort, Laguna Phuket. In memory of this feat, Banyan Tree Maldives has organized a cleanup on Malé, on the 21st of September, aligning with the International Coastal Cleanup and World Cleanup Day 2019. This is being organized and conducted in collaboration with valued partners: the American Center Maldives (ACM), and Maldives Girl Guides Association (MGGA), Dive Desk, Let’s Do It Maldives (World Cleanup Day) and Parley; who share the same philosophies about environmental conservation and social empowerment. By rallying together with those who share a common goal, collecting and documenting the trash that litters the coastline of Malé, Banyan Tree and its partners strive to protect, conserve and preserve the environment for the future generations to come.
Individuals or groups who are interested in joining the International Coastal Cleanup and World Cleanup Day are invited to be present at Alimas Carnival on Saturday, the 21st of September 2019 at 08:30am. All participants are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles to the cleanup event to ensure a minimal plastic footprint.