YHH: Eco-Friendly & Sustainability Focus Group (Boracay)
Meeting Date: 11th & 19th May 2018
Venue: Real Coffee & Tea
Dan Cardon (Chillax Flashbackers Boracay) – Facilitator
Trudy Allen (YHH)
Aileen Cabrera (YHH & Luntian Solutions)
Sandy Velhagen (Rieseling Boracay)
Maria Schafer (Sea View Apartments)
Chrisart Solomon (Human Nature)
Shria & Patrick Florencio (Nonie’s)
Lee Dray (Shangri La Boracay)
Grace Tilor (Amihan Home)
Nadine Rosaia (Real Coffee & Tea)
Lee Rosaia (Real Coffee & Tea)
Your Hospitality Hub was happy to facilitate the development of an Eco-Friendly and Sustainability Focus Group on Boracay, which is currently closed for rehabilitation. There is already a good drive from businesses and residents to encourage better practices on the island.
Dan Cardon gave a brief presentation about Gozo Island, Malta which started a rehabilitation, Eco-friendly and Sustainability Program in 2010, with a completion date of 2020. Gozo Island is smaller than Boracay. The presentation was an excellent talking point to start the meeting.
The Group discussed a number of areas that they wanted to focus on and implement:-
DISPOSABLE PLASTIC STRAW BAN.
– Retrain Hotel, Bar and Restaurant Staff to not give straws automatically.
– Paper, Bamboo or Stainless Steel Straws can be available, for those who need a straw
BAN ON ONE TIME USE AMENITIES: TOOTHBRUSH, TOOTHPASTE, SHOWER CAP, SLIPPERS, SEWING KIT, SHAVING RAZOR, COMB in Hotel/Hostel/Resort
– Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower Gel Dispensers or locally made eco-friendly soaps (Utilize existing initiatives: Panay Boracay, Malay Initiative).
– Guests requiring above amenities can have these provided upon request, at cost, and with the most reusable alternative.
BAN ON COMPLEMENTARY DISPOSABLE WATER BOTTLE in Guest Rooms, leading up to a total ban on disposable water bottle sales.
– Hotels to provide refillable jugs/decanters with filtered water, and provide glasses
– Water Dispensers on each Hotel floor
– Hotels provide a re-useable Water Bottle for Guests to use, deposit or complementary (Promotional Material Opportunity)
– Hotels to provide clear maps or directions to the public Water Refill Stations along the Beach.
– Locals, residents, visitors to own water bottles they can refill from Water Stations or Dispensers in shops (Corporate Sponsorship)
BAN ON PLASTIC BAGS
– Mandated Plastic Bag Tax; Shops to Charge People 10-20PHP for each plastic bag they request for their shopping items (Ireland UK, started this initiative in 2002 and saw a 90% reduction in usage and litter, after the tax was put in to place).
– Hotels to provide cloth/locally made woven bags/ wet-bags or for guests use during their stay (like they used to), to limit the need for plastic bags to carry shopping, souvenirs or beach items back to their rooms (Promotional Material Opportunity). This can be via a Deposit, or the hotel providing as complementary items
– Hotels to empty Bin contents daily, and clean trash bins for re-use.
– Introduce biodegradable Cassava Bags for Trash Bags; colour coded for recyclable, food waste etc.
BAN ON THE SALE OF SUN CREAMS/LOTIONS THAT ARE NOT MARINE-ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY
– Hotels to inform their Guests at point of booking (websites) that this mandate exists.
– Advise the reasons why there is a ban on environmentally Non-Friendly lotions
– Deadline given to shops to cease the sale of non-environmental Sun Creams.
– Human Nature and locally produced alternatives to be encouraged
BAN ON PLASTIC COATED DISPOSABLE CUPS & PLATES
– All outlets that offer Take-Away Food should be banned from using Plastic coated materials, and plastic cutlery.
Introduce a 10-20PHP Green Tax on take-out items, tax deductible
– Coffee Shops to provide cups and mugs for their in-house guests, and use bio-degradable Cups for those wanting Take Out.
– Encourage the use of Bulk/Group Buying on Biodegradable Products, to reduce costs.
– Encourage Large Chains, such as McDonalds, Army & Navy and Starbucks to invest in branded biodegradable products as part of their CSR, and recognise the kudos they would receive for being the first branches in the Philippines to do so.
BAN ON POLYSTYRENE FILLED BEAN BAGS AT BEACHFRONT
– Alternative fillers to be sourced (even “environmentally friendly” fillers are plastics and end up in the environment if the bag bursts)
– Double packed option
– Fines made against hotels/bars/restaurants with burst bean bags
– Or Outright Ban on Bean Bags/Lounging options using Bean Bag Filling
BAN ON DRY CELL BATTERIES
– Deadline given to shops to cease sale of Dry Cell Batteries
– Hotels to provide rechargeable batteries for all Remote Control Devices;TV, Aircon, Fans
TOURIST ECO PLEDGE
– Group to draw up an Eco Pledge. Guests are made aware of the issues and relevant fines for dropping litter, smoking etc. Implementation ideas for further discussion
– Permanent display (not Tarp) in a range of languages. Prominently displayed at Caticlan Port
– Voice announcements in a range of languages on Flights, and on Buses coming from Kalibo/Iloilo
PUBLIC BINS: BEACH, MAIN ROAD & BARANGAYS
– Contentious issue but this needs to be implemented and funded by LGU. Tourists need somewhere to put trash, and residents need this too, so they don’t bring their trash to the beach.
COCONUT SHELL BY-PRODUCTS
– Sell shells on to Spa’s for handmade Scrubs
– Co-operative to turn old shells in to souvenir bowls
Luntian Solutions can re-use concrete from Island Buildings being Demolished, to create Ready-made Walls.
Some concrete could be used to create artificial reef beds; need to check the grade of material
HOME & SCHOOL TRASH RECEPTACLES
– Luntian Solutions are in the process of designing a prototype Trash Receptacle for Residences and schools, to encourage recycling. Aim would be for rewards to be offered for recycling trash brought in; Trash for school supplies or rice.
– Seeking Funding/Grant to provide 500 to the poorer residences and schools, as a test case
Your Hospitality Hub LOCAL HEROES
– Your Hospitality Hub is looking in to a Local Heroes ‘Award’ for individuals and businesses. Concentrating initially on Sustainability.
The aim of the scheme is to be accessible, free and will be to encourage progression of actions; improvement individually and collectively, and a good news promotion vehicle for the individual, business and destination.
– Your Hospitality Hub will also be producing a downloadable Sustainability Workbook for the Hospitality Industry, which will assist businesses to work on their Eco/Sustainability Ethos.
The following meeting held on 19th May 2018, discussed the opportunity of putting some of the above ideas forward for consideration for Ordinance.
Desiree Segovia joined the group to talk about the products made by the Boracay Women’s Producers Co-operative and Panay Boracay, which includes hand-made, eco-friendly Soaps, Dishwash Liquid, Candies and Teas. The Co-operative uses the Gumamela (Hibiscus) Flower (the symbol flower of Malay) and the Blue Pea, which is prized for its health benefits. Both plants thrive in the local area.
Desiree advised the group that the natural bags, which hotels used to provide to guests, was made with local Nito, by a women’s co-operative in Nabas, which is still around. There are other co-operatives in Numancia and Ibajay, also using Nito to make the woven bags.
The group also discussed the issue of breaking the habits of people accepting the use of plastic bags for their groceries and food items, and the emergence of an alternative; BioPlastic Bags made with Cassava. There is already an Indonesian Company selling the bags online, Avani Eco, but these are made in China, which adds to the products Carbon Footprint. Nenette Graff advised the group that an initiative on Camotes Island, Cebu was also producing these bags, Called SafeBuy BioBag
Bioplastics are ‘plastics’ made from materials such as corn starch and vegetable fats and oil, instead of natural gas or petroleum which is how ‘common plastics’ are made, and break down in the environment within 36 weeks.
You can read more about Plant-Based ‘Plastic’ alternatives here