Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Angsana Ihuru to mark World Cleanup Day with Male cleanup

Marking 25 years as a responsible hospitality organisation, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru has organised a cleanup in the Maldives’ capital city Male, supporting both the International Coastal Cleanup and World Cleanup Day 2019.

The cleanup, organised in memory of Banyan Tree Group’s roots in creating Asia’s first and largest integrated resort, Laguna Phuket, at an abandoned tin mine in Phuket, will take place on September 21, aligning with the International Coastal Cleanup and World Cleanup Day 2019.

This is being organised and conducted in collaboration with valued partners: the American Centre Maldives (ACM), Maldives Girl Guides Association (MGGA), Dive Desk, Let’s Do It Maldives (World Cleanup Day) and Parley; who share the same philosophies about environmental conservation and social empowerment. By rallying together with those who share a common goal, collecting and documenting the trash that litters the coastline of Male, Banyan Tree and its partners strive to protect, conserve and preserve the environment for the future generations to come.

Individuals or groups who are interested in joining the International Coastal Cleanup and World Cleanup Day are invited to be present at Alimas Carnival on Saturday, September 21 at 8.30am. All participants are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles to the cleanup event to ensure a minimal plastic footprint.

The Maldives is somewhat of a haven, pristine white sand beaches lined with swaying palm trees and endless blue sky that melts into the aqua-marine waters, surrounding some 1,200 islands that are scattered across the Indian Ocean.

Nevertheless, it is easy to overlook the current challenges being faced to maintain this picture-perfect, diverse and abundant ecosystem. Each year, eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into our oceans, with the Maldives being especially impacted; since only one per cent of the entire Maldives is covered with land while 99 per cent is open ocean. Like a giant sieve, these fragile coral islands sift through the marine garbage circulating the Indian Ocean. One only needs to walk around the shorelines of these islands or besides the ferry terminals in the capital city Male to experience the issues faced by the country, in regard to effective waste management.

Cleaning activities organised by Banyan Tree, and held in collaboration with local partners and communities, aim to remediate and cleanse local surroundings, to maintain the pristine environment for all society to enjoy. Banyan Tree aims to conduct a minimum of four cleanups per year to raise awareness about effective waste management.

So far in 2019, over one tonne of waste has been collected with the help of more than 750 people; engaging local councils, community members, school children and both guests and associates from the two Banyan Tree properties in North Male Atoll.

“The organisation believes that it is essential to raise awareness about the importance of responsible consumption and production to combat the wider problem,” a statement issued by Banyan Tree read.

Since pledging to become single-use plastic free on Earth Day 2018, the two Banyan Tree properties in North Male Atoll have achieved a combined total reduction of 75 per cent of targeted categories of single-use plastic items, including the complete elimination of items such as straws, plastic bottles, cocktail stirrers, takeaway containers and disposable cutlery. The ambitious target of eliminating 100 per cent of single-use plastic items across all 43 Banyan Tree Properties worldwide, remains the ultimate goal.

This year, the Banyan Tree Group celebrates its 25th anniversary, a significant milestone marking its unique journey rooted in sustainability, from the very first Banyan Tree property – an abandoned tin mine in Phuket that began with a painstaking task of cleansing and remediating the toxic and polluted land surrounding. This led to the creation of Asia’s first and largest integrated resort, Laguna Phuket.

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru opened its door in 1995 and is the first international chain resort in the Maldives. With just 48 pool villas dotting around the island, privacy and relaxation can easily be attained. The resort has a restaurant, bar, PADI Gold Palm five-star resort dive centre and a Banyan Tree Spa. It is also home to the Banyan Tree Maldives Marine Lab, the first of its kind to be funded and built on a private resort, where guests can learn about marine conservation and partake in the many sustainability activities on offer including coral planting, reef cleaning and daily stingray feeding sessions.

Angsana Ihuru is surrounded by one of the most vibrant and well preserved coral house reefs in the Maldives. The resort has 45 villas, a restaurant and a bar, a PADI Gold Palm five-star resort dive centre and an Angsana Spa.

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru are located in North Male Atoll, just 25 minutes away by speedboat from the airport. The two resorts are just five minutes by boat away from each other.

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