Friday 11 August 2017

Plastic pollution — it’s OUR problem!

Stunned by the facts detailed herein, Bahia Mar has been making every effort 
to be ‘plastic pro-active’ and environmentally sensitive.

Our commitment
Here, where we are surrounded by nature’s majesty, we feel a special responsibility. We are very concerned about the critical situation in our oceans and accordingly have a strict recycling policy. We are one of only two companies in the area who contract an outside organisation to handle our recyclables, the other being global giant Sasol.

Furthermore we are currently looking for ways to reduce our plastic dependence. ‘Indestructible’ glass straws have been ordered and our bottled water purchases are under review as we investigate filtered glass drinking water.

We are also in the process of changing our take-away containers to biodegradable and we have moved away from individual amenities in the rooms in favour of bulk dispensers.

Beach cleaning
To assist our ocean dwelling creatures and to do our share to protect our wonderful coral reefs, our beach cleaning crew leaded by Aldo – a otherwise unemployed young man, – routinely gather plastic and rubbish on the beachfront from Hotel Dona Ana to Vilanculos Beach Lodge. They pick up an average of 35 sacks of rubbish each time, most of it plastic,  keeping our beachfront  pristine for everyone.

We are making a contribution, even though it seems small, because we believe if everyone did just one thing to reduce plastic dependence we can hopefully reverse the sheer volume which is destroying our beautiful, precious planet. We believe that the facts detailed here are simply too serious to ignore.

Dire situation
Nature is a scientifically designed entity – perfectly developed and balanced for harmony and regeneration from now until eternity. At least that was the master plan at the dawn of creation, however one thing was not factored into the equation – man!

The need for speed and convenience to address the demands of busy schedules and lifestyles has resulted in the development of ‘instant fix’ products and materials, with plastic topping the list. Light, convenient and above all disposable, plastic appeared to be the perfect solution to a myriad of container issues. So perfect in fact that we are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. 14% of all litter comes from plastic.

We have developed a ‘disposable’ lifestyle and estimates are that around 50% of plastic is thrown away, eight hundred million tons of which is dumped into our oceans every year.

Packaging is the largest market segment accounting for just over 40% of total plastic usage. The reality is astonishing:
• Annually some 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.
• A plastic bag has an average “working life” of 15 minutes.
• Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
• The process of producing bottled water requires around 6 times as much water per bottle as there is in the container.

Human Impact
Once in the ocean, the 150 million tons of plastic litter dumped annually affects the safety of sea transport, fisheries, tourism and recreation. When broken up into tiny pieces, plastic attracts toxic chemicals released over decades from industry and agriculture. Plastic is indigestible, often razor sharp and chemically toxic. The negative effect of digesting plastic on the creatures that inhabit our oceans has reached catastrophic proportions.

What’s the solution?
What can we all do to reduce our plastic dependence and save our planet? Here are a few guidelines.

Wean yourself off disposable plastics.
Ninety percent of the plastic items in our daily lives are used once and then thrown away.

Stop buying water in plastic bottles.
Each year, close to 20 billion plastic bottles are tossed in the trash. Filter your own and save.
Boycott microbeads Those little plastic scrubbers found in so many beauty products might look harmless, but their tiny size allows them to slip through water-treatment plants.

Left over savvy
Bring your own food-storage containers to restaurants for leftovers.

It seems obvious, but we’re not doing a great job of it. Make it a focus in your home. It’s simple once it becomes a habit and makes a huge difference.

Be a custodian
We are blessed to be able to take a boat trip to visit the islands, perhaps see dolphins playing on the way. We can dive on Two Mile Reef — one of the world’s best dive sites and visit the flamingos who make the Bazaruto Archipelago their home.

Dining on fresh seafood and fish is integral to our lifestyle — our visitors enjoy it too!

But will this all be here for the next generation to enjoy?  The reality is it won’t, unless each and every one of us commits to protecting earth right now.  

There is simply no time left to decide. |