Ocean waste is a huge problem in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, who together are responsible for 60% of the eight million tonnes of plastic that enter the world's oceans each year.
Regatta organizers are taking this seriously, putting sustainability at the heart of their operations and Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is setting the example in Thailand.
“The numbers are scary and ocean waste is a problem that everyone needs to take seriously. No one person or organisation can solve the issue alone, only collectively can we start to turn the tide. When we took-over Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek in 2013, creating a sustainable and environmentally sound business model was a top priority, and over the last five years we have made significant strides in this area,” said Byron Jones, MD of Media Business Services Co. Ltd, organizers of the event.
Keen to reduce the event's carbon footprint, organisers began working with Sailors for the Sea back in 2014 becoming the first certified Clean Regatta in Southeast Asia. The Clean Regattas program is a global certification system to encourage and advise regattas and yacht clubs in the staging of environmentally responsible events.
Photo by Guy Nowell
Many of the early steps taken by Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek were organisational and operational, and not obvious to participants or the general public. “However, those steps were essential in ensuring we built solid foundations for the event, on which we are now building an effective sustainable programme.” said Jones.
Already last year the organisers introduced a 'straws on request' policy for all drinks served at event social functions. "What seemed like a relatively small step at the time resulted in a reduction of single-use plastic straws in 2017 by 99%.” said Jones.
This year organisers are working closely with event host Cape Panwa Hotel and suppliers to the event to further reduce plastic waste and ensure recycling of any plastic bottles and packaging that are used.
“In some areas it's not possible to eliminate plastic waste 100%. Many of the yachts competing at the regatta are racing yachts, they are not equipped with water-makers and have limited onboard storage. This means they consume water from plastic bottles. It's not possible to eliminate all this plastic so we are increasing our onshore waste collection facilities this year and have implemented a clear waste separation policy.” added Jones.
"In the case of our own on-water staff, all food packaging is biodegradable and this will be returned to shore and collected for effective waste disposal.”
Photo by Guy Nowell
About Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
The 15th Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek takes place from 18 – 22 July, 2018 at Cape Panwa Hotel. Now in its 15th year, the event consists of four days of world class yacht racing with four nights of beachside parties.
The event is the first in the prestigious 2018/19 AsianYachting Grand Prix and includes IRC, multihull, charter and one-design classes. It has gained a reputation for competitive racing for serious race crew, while providing more moderate courses for less experienced entrants.
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Sports Authority of Thailand, Phuket Yacht Club and the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand.
Sponsors and Partners include: Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket, Kantary Bay Hotel Phuket, Amazing Thailand, Mount Gay Rum, Chang International, Illuzion Cruises, International Law Office, Phuket Island Radio, Cape+Kantary Magazine, IMAGE Asia, Luxury Society Asia, Phuket Magazine, SEA Yachting, Absolute World Group, Asia Catamarans, ISS Security Services, North Sails, Phuket International Hospital, Sailescapes, Electrical Marine, Phuket Boat Lagoon, Krabi Boat Lagoon, Quantum Sail Design Group and Infinity Communications.