“We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet. And never before, have we had the power to do something about that. The future of humanity, and indeed all life on earth, now depends on us.”
David Attenborough’s words talk to the very essence of our vision ‘to leave our world a better place’ through impactful goals and initiatives that care for the land, wildlife and people, with our guest experiences always at the very heart of these endeavours.
And this is exactly what our count down to zero plastic is all about – a whole-hearted commitment to reduce the use of plastic across our operations.
Why? Because, quite simply, plastic waste is killing our environment.
2.5 Million tons CO2 produced to make plastic bottles
96% of our lodges use glass water bottles
3 litres water used for a 1-litre plastic water bottle
2.2 million litres water saved per year
450 years for plastic to break down
0 plastic straws at our lodges
8% of world’s oil production used to make plastic
17 water bottle plants within our group
Plastic listed as #1 treat to environment
740 000 plastic bottles per year replaced by glass
91% of plastic not recycled
All our mobile camps use only glass water bottles
8 million tons plastic end up in oceans every year
3 000 kg plastic washed up on Mnemba island collected by staff
Are we winning?
Yes, we’re getting close:
- We currently have 17 water bottling plants throughout Africa, including one at &Beyond Vira Vira, Chile, our first South American lodge. These currently supply 96% of our lodges and camps.
- Recyclable glass water bottles have eliminated a staggering 740 000 plastic bottles per year. Our Botswana team alone has eradicated the use of 153 084 plastic bottles per year.
- The 740 000 plastic water bottles eliminated per year translates into a saving of over 2.2 million litres of water (it takes thee litres of water to fill and make each one-litre plastic water bottle)
- On Benguerra Island, 64 cases of plastic wrapping used for canned Coca Cola products no longer goes to landfill each month, with return-for-deposit glass bottles replacing the cans.
- On Mnemba Island, 3 000 kg (6 613 lb) of plastic waste that washed up on the shoreline has been collected by our staff for recycling and safe disposal.
- In East Africa, every lodge guest will now receive their very own, personalised, 550 ml durable pyrex (glass) bottle ‘for keeps’, and to take with them on their travels.
- Moves are underway in Southern and East Africa for food-to-go glass bottles to replace the plastic bottles currently in use. Another positive here are our compostable utensils and packaging.
- Plastic straws are no longer used at any of our lodges, and have been replaced by paper or metal alternatives.
- Guest amenities include refillable glass bottles for shampoo, hair softener and shower gel.
Our Botswana team has come up with a stirling initiative.
At our Okavango Delta lodges of Nxabega and Sandibe, the 2018 partnership with Mack Air has eliminated single-use cardboard and plastic containers with the introduction of re-usable ‘cool containers’ for the perishable produce that is flown into camp. This system will be rolled out for our other Botswana properties in 2019.
Ultimately, turning this plastic tide around will take a collective and global effort. As a guest of &Beyond, you are already supporting us in these zero-plastic endeavours.