As part of its ongoing efforts to improve the sustainability of its operations, Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives recently opened an on-site water bottling facility to provide drinking water to all guests and staff. Like most resorts in the Maldives, Grand Park Kodhipparu has a desalination plant to produce freshwater for its operations. However, all drinking water at the resort was provided from purchased bottled water, predominantly in plastic PET bottles. The new bottling facility produces filtered drinking water in reusable glass bottles, so reducing single-use plastic waste from the resort.
As part of its Sustainability Management Plan under the Green Globe Standards for Responsible Tourism, Grand Park Kodhipparu has a target to minimize the use of single-use plastics. Plastic pollution is increasingly being recognized as a threat to marine ecosystems, with animals such as marine turtles, fish and seabirds often mistaking floating plastic for food and becoming entangled or choked by this debris. Empty plastic water bottles are one of the most visible and numerous waste items encountered in the Maldives, and the new bottling facility will result in a reduction of over 15 000 plastic water bottles a month used over the resort’s operations.
The new drinking water system runs off a separate Reverse Osmosis desalinated water supply with several subsequent filtration steps (Ultraviolet sterilization, as well as Carbon and Mineral Ball filter cartridges) before delivery to several dispensing units, including the bottling facility. All resort employees have been provided with Stainless Steel drinking water bottles that they can refill as required from chilled dispensers in the staff accommodation area. Resort outlets and guest rooms and facilities are supplied water in glass bottles directly from the bottling facility, which produces both spring and sparkling water, with used bottles sterilized in a hot water washer prior to refill. The drinking water will be closely monitored and tested regularly inhouse and once a month the water will be analyzed by an authorized lab in Male or abroad to make sure water is safe for drinking and to maintain the record accordingly.
Resident Marine Biologist at Grand Park Kodhipparu, Peter Pringle, explained “Plastic drinking water bottles were previously the biggest source of single-use plastic on our island, so the use of refillable glass bottles has huge benefits in terms of reducing the waste from our operations that need to be dealt with off-island. We also hope this will set a positive example for people that there are alternatives to many single-use plastics and another packaging.”