280,000 single-use plastic (SUP) bottles are produced daily in the Maldives, with many discarded bottles ending up washed up on coasts, reefs and in marine eco-systems. Soneva Water provides an affordable alternative to SUP water bottles: desalinated, purified, and mineralized drinking water in reusable bottles at competitive prices.
In 2021, we sold over 70,000 litres of water, preventing a corresponding number of SUP bottles from entering the waste stream. Our community-run water bottling plants are located in Namoona islands Maalhos in Baa Atoll and Kudafari in Noonu Atoll. Both plants deliver water in reusable glass bottles to cafes, guesthouses and households.
The Alun Balun resale market is an initiative of the Women’s Development Committees (WDC) of seven Namoona islands in Baa Atoll and six Namoona islands in Noonu Atoll . The market helps create a culture of reusing good quality used items, particularly clothes, rather than throwing them away. This reduces the volume of waste sent to landfill at the same time as generating an income for the WDCs.
The Alun Balun market collects second hand clothes and goods from each of the participating islands and distributes them to the other participating islands, overcoming the challenge of reselling items within small island communities and inspiring us to think twice before throwing an item away.
Add copy from Noonu Atoll
Islands in Baa Atoll have only recently received piped tap water. To encourage the adoption of tap water, and to discourage buying single use plastic bottled water, Soneva Namoona, in partnership with local islands, is hosting a series of water filter expos, branded “ Israafu Madhu Misraabu”. The aim is to provide communities with information about the environmental and health benefits of water filtration systems, as well as access to suppliers, product catalogues, discounted prices and financing schemes that will enable them to adopt water filtration systems over plastic packaged water.
Our first expo was in Baa Maalhos. The whole community participated in the trial, and we are currently supporting the council’s efforts to introduce a water filtration financing scheme.
Typically, a baby gets through up to 6,000 disposable nappies by the time they are potty trained. In 2021 alone, an estimated 84,000 nappies were removed from the waste management centres of just five Namoona islands, making nappies the second largest source of plastic waste in the Maldives.
In 2021, we ran a reusable nappy trial with the community of Kihaadhoo to allow parents to try out washable cloth nappies before making a financial investment. The trial was a great success, with 3 out of 4 Kihaadhoo families with babies in favour of switching to reusable nappies. Soneva Namoona can play a key role in encouraging behaviour change and sourcing alternative products.
“We don’t need a handful of people doing this perfectly, we need millions doing it imperfectly”
Soneva Namoona has partnered with UNFPA Maldives and Zero Waste Maldives to raise awareness about sustainable menstrual products and provide reusable products to women and girls across Namoona islands in Baa and Noonu Atolls. Together, we are jointly implementing awareness sessions to provide information about reproductive health and sustainable and healthy choices for menstruation. Women who attend these sessions are provided with reusable pads and menstrual cups, free of charge.
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