ICS and Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa supports Parley’s AIR strategy | 08 October 2020
2020 is the year where all global issues seem to be magnifying. And the vermin we call marine plastics pollution, although has been out of the highlight since Covid-19 took over the news, is still horrendous as ever.
Silhouette Island’s environment is well kept. The daily duties of keeping the island’s terrestrial area clean is of great importance ecologically, socially and economically, which is greatly appreciated by the island’s inhabitants and visitors. With minimum operation going on inland and incredible effort being put to protect this valued gem, it is a shame that marine rubbish keeps piling up on our beaches more than turtles coming up to nest. They are of course the most common floatable plastic items with already known reusable alternatives, including our local plastic products such as the PET water bottles. Since these are no longer sourced on Silhouette Island, instead replaced by glass bottled water, this suggest that waste on inhabited islands nearby remains unmanaged.
Beach clean-ups, which is not a final solution to the problem but rather mitigation, is conducted by the ICS team during the regular turtle patrol. Nevertheless, to completely eliminate this problem, more activities aside clean-ups are required, the need to promote awareness and educate the wider community on pollution is also an important target for ICS. Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, managed by the global hospitality company, Hilton Worldwide, has remained committed to several sustainability actions in its effort to assist ICS with its conservation programme on the island. But for the first time, the duo welcomed Parley for the oceans, an international NGO, which has adopted a different strategy to address the fast-growing threat of marine pollution globally. The strategy is known as Parley AIR, whereby A means Avoiding plastics, I – Intercept plastic waste and R- Redesign of materials. The Parley Coordinator for Seychelles described the principles of this strategy as a clogged and overflowing sink scenario, where the first step to an overflowing sink is not to remove the water, but to close the tap first to prevent more water from entering into the sink. The water is then dealt with. The same philosophy should be applied with plastics by preventing them from entering into our fragile ecosystems, henceforth promoting and choosing non plastic options.
This joint effort between Parley, ICS and the Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa team marks the beginning of a new collaboration which works in favour of the conservation work on the island and the long-term commitment of Parley to bring more light to people’s consciousness and willingness to reduce on the use of plastic products and not just the usual beach clean-ups. All the trash collected were sorted, counted, weighed and recorded for the long-term monitoring programme. In total, 47.5kgs of litter were collected on October 3, 2020. Photos provided depict PET bottles and polystyrene pieces were dominant among the mix of litter collected. Some of the litter will be separated and kept for a project by the ICS team to further raise awareness on this situation. It is however very unfortunate that not all the trash can be recycled so the final option is the landfill which has nearly reached its full capacity.
ICS fully supports the AIR strategy and believes that all groups in the country and globally should follow these principles and focus more on disposing litter appropriately and use less plastic products.
Contributed by Island Conservation Society, Silhouette & Parley Seychelles
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