Fairmont Maldives unveils plastic waste recycling lab

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The Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi unveiled its new Sustainability Lab with an ambitious goal of fully recycling all the plastic waste  generated by the resort and surrounding local islands.

“A hub of eco-education, the Sustainability Lab will turn plastic waste into bespoke  souvenirs and unique products, educate guests and empower local communities,” according to the resort.

Plastic collected from the beach and ocean are shredded, melt and pressed into various items, including luggage tags in the shape of turtles, mantas and sharks as well as stationary for local schools such as rulers, clipboards, and carabiner hooks.

Fairmont has already processed over 725kg of plastic.

The resort aims to become a recycling centre in the northern atolls and to encourage nearby islands to collect, sort and send their plastic waste to Fairmont. The sustainability team will also visit seven schools in Shaviyani Atoll to teach classes and host workshops on recycling, marine biodiversity, climate change and ocean conservation. School children will be brought over to see the the Sustainability Lab in action.

As part of Fairmont’s wider sustainability initiatives, the lab will offer educational programmes and activities for guests, who can collect plastic waste and learn how to use the recycling machines. Under the resort’s Turtle Ranger Programme, guests can also learn about the various conservation methods and techniques used to better protect endangered turtle species and help collect Photo ID tracking data, which Fairmont collects on behalf of the turtle research NGO Olive Ridley Project.

“As part of the programme, the resort now tracks over 50 resident Hawksbill turtles, and in 2021, they  released over 1,200 baby green turtles born on the east coast of the resort,” the resort said.

Maldives Environment Minister Aminath Shauna, Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi and Special Envoy for Climate Change Sabra Noordeen attended the ribbon-cutting opening ceremony of the Sustainability Lab on Thursday (3 February).