By Style Correspondent
Re-useable glass water bottles have replaced single-use plastic bottles at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club and Victoria Falls Safari Suites as hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) continues to rally to protect the environment.
The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show and Lokuthula Lodges will follow suit in the next two weeks. The move, which will see the elimination of more than 80 000 plastic water bottles a year used across the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge estate in hotel rooms, restaurants and bars, follows the installation of the Natura water system earlier this month.
AAT chief executive Ross Kennedy said: “We shall now aim to reduce and then remove as much other plastic as possible from our operations, to a point in 2021
where there is hopefully zero, for example, plastic laundry bags, plastic shopping bags and other plastic bottles, such as juice bottles.”
The environmentally-friendly Natura water system purifies water on-site through a three-stage filtration system. The water is then put into glass bottles for
guest use, after which the bottles are collected, washed, sterilised and re-used. The system produces both still and sparkling water.
“It is important as a responsible business to keep pace with world trends in all conservation issues, and where possible, as with Victoria Falls Recycling, to also lead. We have researched and talked to colleagues before making informed decisions,” Kennedy said.
“The impact of this initiative has many benefits — there will be over 80 000 less plastic bottles going out into the environment, and with less plastic in
circulation that can find its way into the wild and therefore potentially harm wildlife, especially elephants.
“It would also have a major impact on waste management, due to a massive reduction in plastic waste that is caused by the mineral water empties, so much less
litter to deal with in our daily operational routine,” Kennedy said.
There was also the benefit of reduced cost of water to guests, he added.
The hospitality group has decided to eliminate plastic bottles from its premises entirely by providing water dispensers so guests may fill up their own water
bottles to take away when going on activities and by selling aluminium bottles in its souvenir shop.
This development comes after the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge estate stopped using plastic straws, adopting more eco-friendly paper straws instead, and launched Victoria Falls Recycling last year, a project which recycles plastics, paper, glass and beverage cans.
The only project of its kind in the region, Victoria Falls Recycling, launched in March 2018 by AAT in partnership with Greenline Africa, Victoria Falls
Municipality and PetrecoZim, has collected and baled more than 24 tonnes of waste for recycling in its first year of operation.
AAT operates a portfolio of properties in Victoria Falls — Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Safari Suites, Lokuthula
Lodges and The Boma – Dinner & Drum Show, as well as Ngoma Safari Lodge in Chobe, Botswana.