Looking for your next sustainable stay? North Island, Seychelles has banned plastic straws from its exclusive private-island destination, known for its pristine natural environment and progressive conservation initiatives. Taking its first steps towards becoming a completely plastic-free island, the luxury island hopes to accelerate positive change around the world by providing a leading example of sustainable tourism.
North Africa’s most exclusive private island with only 11 spacious guest villas, this luxury getaway is celebrating 21 years of sustainable tourism and has been dedicated to island conservation since it embarked on its ambitious journey in 1997. Returning the Island to its former natural glory and undoing the damage wrought by man is at the core of its ethos – and it continues to set a new standard of luxury set against a backdrop of eco-friendly practices.
North Island’s Conservation Manager, Tarryn Retief said “It’s a scary thought that every piece of plastic ever produced still exists in some form or another”. “Billions of plastic straws are created every day, only to be used for mere minutes before being thrown away, potentially polluting our oceans forever and harming precious marine life,” continued CJ Havemann, the Island’s Environment Manager.
Traditional straws have been replaced with a 100% compostable alternative that degrades within 12-16 weeks. A sustainable and reusable glass straw will also be given to every North Island guest to use on the Island and take home with them, in the hope of spreading change beyond the island one straw at a time.
When it comes to creating an eco-friendly environment, even the smallest change can have a big impact. In addition, North Island only uses eco-friendly compostable food containers for activities around the Island, rather than harmful single-use plastic products. Together with the Environment Department, each team on the island is looking into their operations and making sustainable changes, right down to the finest detail – for example, replacing traditional balloons with beautiful tissue-paper pompoms for children’s birthday celebrations.
Furthermore, to keep North Island’s four private beaches perfectly pristine, resident environmentalists and eco-tourist volunteers set off on beach patrol each and every morning, collecting any debris carried by the trade winds while searching for nesting sea turtles. Firmly committed to removing these items, they also ensure they enter the proper recycling routes, making sure they do not enter the oceans once more.
Not only are its beaches beautiful, they’re also beneficial. North Island’s beach protection over the last two decades has safeguarded the nesting sites of critically-endangered Hawksbills and endangered Green Turtles which has seen a remarkable increase in the number of turtles utilising the island.
To find out more, please click here to learn more about North Island’s conservation efforts.