Plastic reduction is at the forefront of media at the moment and banning plastic straws, plastic bags and plastic bottles is mentioned in marketing for resorts, hotels and coffee shops around the world – Murex replaced their water bottle in guests’ rooms with reusable dispensers years ago. They don’t wait to hear what’s the latest news – they’ve already done it.
Of course, there is a heavy focus on plastic reduction, not only is waste sorted but from Murex Bangka, the plastic is stored until there is enough to warrant shipping to mainland Sulawesi from where it is taken to Surabaya – Indonesia’s main plastic recycling hub. It’s not just a case of taking out the trash in North Sulawesi, responsible trash disposal can require, boats, cars, truck and cargo carriers, but that doesn’t stop Murex from finding a way to make it happen.
I absolutely encourage anyone who stays on Murex Bangka to walk to the top of the hill behind the resort and take a look at the solar panel installation. Then turn around, look back down the hill and across the ocean and imagine the effort, blood, sweat and tears that went into transporting 38 extremely heavy yet fragile panels across the water and up the hill without the use of industrial lifting machinery. That’s when you really start to recognize the efforts which they are going to in order to make a difference.
Murex Manado has a small river which passes through the resort before entering the ocean. The river runs from the high ground behind the resort, through several villages along the way. Murex see conservation and marine protection as everyone’s responsibility, not some else’s fault. Their latest initiative is a river cleaning program whereby they clean debris and plastic from the river bed, prior to the waste even reaching the ocean. It’s not a nice job – but the alternative is to allow plastic to wash out, and that isn’t even seen as an option.