While the world is in agreeance that there’s a global plastic-waste crisis, a global solution still seems out of immediate grasp.
As world leaders plod away at implementing frameworks and regulations to manage the crisis and ensure the health of both humans and the environment, there are plenty of individuals and destinations taking the war on plastic into their own hands.
The following resorts are hyper aware of their impact on the planet and go to great lengths to reduce their footprint. In doing so, they have created plastic-free oases where conscious travellers can stay guilt-free!
Soneva – The Maldives & Thailand
Soneva is a world-leading hospitality group with two luxury resorts in the Maldives and one in Thailand. Since its inception in 1995, the brand has been much lauded and loved for its status as guardians of the natural world.
The Soneva properties haven’t been using plastic straws for more than 20 years and in 2008, they banned imported water, saving approximately 1.5 million plastic bottles since then. As part of their ‘Soneva Maker Programme’ and in partnership with global grass-roots initiative, ‘Precious Plastic’, Soneva recycles plastic that washes onto the resorts’ pristine shores, making a range of useful products like flowerpots and building blocks.
Guests and resort hosts are invited to get creative with plastic waste and some of the innovative creations they’ve come up with include surfboards made from recycled polystyrene and Easter eggs for children made from plastic bottle caps.
The measures Soneva are taking against plastic are just the tip of the company’s environmentally-savvy iceberg. They are the most creative, forward-thinking and inspiring team in the travel industry and you can read more about their plethora of sustainability initiatives on their website.
Bawah Reserve – Indonesia
Sustainability lies at the heart of Bawah Reserve. Surrounded by sea in a remote archipelago in Indonesia, the resort believes it plays a big role in the future of our planet, and in particular, our oceans.
No single-use plastic is used on the six islands that make up Bawah Reserve. No plastic straws, no plastic water bottles, nothing. Instead, the resort has had custom bamboo straws and beautiful copper water bottles created. Made from recycled copper, Bawah’s personalised water bottles are provided to guests when they board the seaplane en route to the resort, for use on-island and afterwards once they return home.
There are simply too many sustainability initiatives in play at this luxury resort to list, so we strongly recommend heading over to their website to check out the full scope of their positive environmental impact.
Le Lagoto and Sinalei – Samoa
When you think of the Pacific Island nation of Samoa, you probably think of palm-fringed beaches and enormous waterfalls hidden between lush jungle-clad mountain ranges. The country is an absolute treasure trove of natural phenomena. You’ll also find sea caves, steep cliff faces, hidden coves, natural ocean trenches and lagoons bursting with coral reefs.
In an effort to protect this spectacular tropical environment and address the growing issue of plastic pollution, the Samoan government enforced a ban earlier this year on single-use plastics, including plastic bags and straws.
One of our favourite properties to experience Samoa’s plastic-free life is Le Lagoto Resort and Spa, which is located on a secluded white sand beach on the northern coast of the big island of Savai’i. Offering just 10 traditional Samoan-style bungalows and fronting one of the best beaches in Samoa, Le Lagoto is famous for its seclusion and boutique-resort vibe. It’s never crowded or rushed, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the country’s iconic laid-back lifestyle and natural beauty.
Possibly one of the most prolific resorts in Samoa in terms of environmental advocacy is Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa – an adults-only boutique property nestled within a sheltered lagoon along the southern coast of Upolu Island.
Set across 44 elegantly groomed acres of lush vegetation, where the rainforest meets the reef, Sinalei has implemented various environ-friendly initiatives. From the use of energy-saving light bulbs, solar panels and bamboo straws, to the implementation of sustainable waste disposal systems and recycling procedures, they are constantly committed to cultivating a greener Samoa.