As part of its commitment to preserving the Kenyan coastline and ecosystem within it, Hemingways Watamu hotel has amalgamated with a local non-governmental organization ‘EcoWorld Watamu,’ which employs underprivileged locals to collect plastic debris along the beach each week and reuse and recycle it for better purposes.
All plastic waste from Hemingways Watamu is directed to EcoWorld where it is separated according to weight and colour, before being shredded or melted, and recycled. The recycled waste is used in creating art works, furniture, fence posts, and trinkets, generating income while removing debris from the ocean.
Hemingways Watamu Operations Manager Melinda Rees, says collaboration with the local community is an important step in raising environmental awareness adding that the hotel has begun to replace palm leaf roofs on some structures with recycled plastic roofing in addition to banning the use of plastic straws in the establishment.
Ms Rees noted that luxury that makes the world a better place is a trend that is on the increase with many travellers keen on the importance of sustainability.
“Guests can now spend a day learning about the Watamu Marine Association and EcoWorld Watamu, with an educational day joining in on the recycling process and learning about the impact that plastic waste is having on this fragile environment.” Hemingways Collection Group Operations Director Mr. Ross Evans explained.
The hotel has created provision for guests to also have the opportunity to contribute to the effort on a more informal basis by picking up one of the hotel’s recycled plastic bags and collecting plastic waste as they take in their daily walk along Watamu beach Mr Evans further explained
The Watamu coastline is at the heart of the hotel’s community and offers guests a chance to view the Watamu big five Dolphins, Whales, Sea Turtles, Whale Shark and Shark. Protecting it ensures that populations of marine life such as the Humpback whale are sustained.
The whales make their annual migration north from Antarctica to the warm tropical inner reefs for protection making the return 4000 km journey in October. The humpback whale migration can be experienced out in the sea or seen from land in Watamu this season of August to October.