Since the very start of the ecotourism component of the project, 25 years ago, Chumbe Island has been strongly committed to plastic-free operations.
This includes a farm-to-table approach involving supplies being sourced entirely locally from fishers, farmers and local markets. Good are transported to the island in locally made baskets and suppliers are sensitized not to use any plastic packaging or wrapping. Drinking water is served on the island in refillable glass bottles. All waste gets strictly separated, with organic waste being composted on the island and recyclable waste being brought to Zanzibar, where we work with local recycling initiatives for glass and hard plastics (used e.g. for jerry cans transporting cooking oil). Chumbe Island has a dedicated appointed waste manager within the team, who regularly checks on processes.
To further underline this commitment, Chumbe Island became an early signatory of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI), led by the United Nations Environment Programme and World Tourism Organization, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It enables businesses and governments to take concerted action, leading by example in the shift towards a circularity in the use of plastics.
As part of being a signatory of the GTPI, Chumbe Island is committed to an annual reporting for which all aspects of our operations get screened to verify that no new plastics entered the value chain and to communicate with all departments, especially supplies and F&B. The data gets published as part of the annual status reports by the GTPI.
“Chumbe Island has eliminated single-use plastics from its operations since many years and implements a sustainable waste management policy. We are committed to mainstream our practices in the entire Zanzibar archipelago and actively educate and encourage communities, our guests, suppliers and other tourism stakeholders to take action to positively impact our value chain and the destination at a whole. Being a signatory of this important global initiative is crucial for us to raise awareness at large of the responsibility we have within the tourism industry to address this issue.”Sibylle Riedmiller, Director
As part of our dedication to mainstream plastic-free approaches in the Zanzibari tourism industry, we have become a destination ambassador for the GTPI in the archipelago. Chumbe Island successfully lobbied for the GTPI to be mentioned in the Zanzibar Declaration on Sustainable Tourism, encouraging local tourism signatories to adopt the GTPI initiative and to phase out and eliminate plastics from tourism operations. Chumbe island continues to advocate through national and regional workshops and (online) presentations.
Read more about the One Planet Global Tourism Plastics Initiative