These days everything seems to be shrouded in plastic packaging. A casing here, a wrapper there; one way or another plastic finds its way into our lives. A modern-day invention created to make our lives more comfortable has undeniably become one of the biggest challenges that we face today.
At Noku, the focus has been to find simple, creative solutions utilizing what is abundantly available on the island. General Manager, Justin and Food and Beverage Manager, Basil have been working tirelessly over the past year to eliminate as much single use plastic as possible in the resort.
Eliminating plastic from the island has not been an easy task, and one that is still very much a work in progress. The team tackled the project one department at a time.
Food and Beverage is always the most wasteful. Some waste is evitable, but with some effort, waste generated by single use products can be avoided. Plastic straws for example, can easily be replaced by paper straws. But doing so did not reduce the amount of waste piling up on the island. Instead, they replaced it entirely with handmade straws from coconut leaves which are plentiful on the island and adored by their guests.
None of the items in the resort are served in single serve packing. The sugar is served in pots, the butter piped into serving dishes and jams and sauces are made in house. This not only applied in the restaurant but also in the guest rooms. Noku and a local coffee supplier, the Maldives Coffee Company have a joint venture to develop Eco Friendly F&B amenities in the guest rooms. On top of reducing their carbon footprint, supporting local businesses is also a priority for them.
The plastic free Mini Bar is one of the most notable features at Noku. The coffee and tea are served loose in glass jars and the beverages are made fresh and refilled daily in reusable glass bottles. F&B manager, Basil noted that the next step was to reduce plastic in the housekeeping department. Right now, most of their bathroom amenities are in refillable bottles, However, he added that there is still work to be done and they will continue to work on ways they can meaningfully remove as much of single use packing as much as possible.
At Noku, it is not just the guests who enjoy eco-friendly amenities. The team themselves are dedicated in their efforts to embody a sustainable lifestyle on the island. They started by segregating their waste and eliminating single use plastic bottles, bags and many items that come in plastic packets.
Going plastic free is not an easy task and there will always be some amount of waste created. At Noku they approached this issue by simplifying their lifestyle and going back to basics. Although less convenient, the extra effort has definitely paid off in terms of a cleaner island.