We are at a critical time where, globally, we are waking up to the frightening impact of plastic on our oceans ecology. Vilanculos is no exception and as a community we have come together in efforts to turn the tide.
Every year, over 300 million tons of plastic are produced. At least 12 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year and make up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. Floating plastic debris are currently the most abundant items of marine litter.
Santorini Mozambique proudly supports a local environmental initiative called-Plastic free Vilanculos. This new community driven projects goal is to eliminating plastic and other waste from our sea, beaches and roads.
This initiative was also the start of the Vilanculos Beach Clean Up Team, which is made up of a group of young individuals who are personally motivated by the cause, as they are fishermen and handcraft sellers. They know that plastics are bad for their environment and their businesses.
We can also do our part by reducing our Villa’s footprint with the following initiatives:
*We have beautiful glass straws with the Santorini logo on, to enjoy all beverages with.
*Console glass bottles are being used and we no longer purchase the large plastic water bottles
*We stock our bathroom amenities with bamboo ear buds
*Our Luxury Shower Amenities Charlotte Rhys uses natural, organic and botanical ingredients many of which are unique to Africa. All their products are biodegradable and the bottles are made from 70% recycled material.
But is that enough?
In order to make a notable difference, it is vitally important that we adopt the mindset of reducing, reusing, recycling and up-cycling plastic in Vilankulo.
This has led us to offer our support to an initiative called Marplasticcs.
The IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme (GMPP) is a team of staff committed to effectively addressing key global challenges in the marine and polar environment.
In 2017, with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), IUCN launched the Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities initiative (MARPLASTICCs). This is a three-year initiative in Africa and Asia that works in five countries: South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The objectives of the project are as follows:
• Assist governments and regional bodies in Africa and Asia to strengthen, develop and implement legislation and other measures which, reduce plastic pollution.
• Equip governments, industry and civil society with tools, knowledge, capacity and policy options to help close the plastic tap.
• Ensure that the full life cycle of plastics is taken into consideration, not just the impacts of downstream “marine litter”.
We use a recycling company called 3R in Vilanculos who collect waste from our property on a regular basis. We separate the waste for them, they then collect and all recyclable waste items are taken to Maputo where it is recycled properly. We get regular reports from them with statistics on all the recycled material that is produced by our property.
Santorini has donated a number of large material bags to Parco’s Recycling Plant in support of the beach clean up teams to collect the plastic waste in. We also support them with larger plastic donations.
With one small step a time, we can do our bit to make a difference and save our seas, and ensure that all we leave behind are our footprints.