Together, Thailand, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are responsible for roughly 60% of the eight million tonnes of plastic that enters the oceans annually, placing ocean waste as a problem of vast proportions. In a similar vein to the global yachting events and organisations that have put sustainability at the heart of their agenda – Volvo Ocean Race, 11th Hour Racing and Turn The Tide On Plastic to name a few – Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek aims to lead the way.
Organisers started working with Sailors for the Sea in 2014, with a goal to reduce the event’s carbon footprint. During the same year, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek became the first certified Clean Regatta in Southeast Asia, primarily through their Clean Regattas program – a global certification system that encourages regatta organizers and yacht clubs to manage and run environmentally responsible events – which has been pivotal in helping to identify key areas and ‘best practice’ operations.
In 2017, organisers introduced a “straws on request” policy for all drinks served at event social functions. This small step resulted in a reduction of single-use plastic straws in 2017 by 99%, a strong incentive to continue and look into other avenues of reducing waste for the event. Organisers continued working with Sailors for the Sea to significantly reduce waste generated from event operations.
This year, organisers are working closely with the Host Venue, Cape Panwa Hotel, and the event’s supply chain to further reduce plastic waste and to recycle those plastics that are used, with particular focus on bottles and packaging.
All sailors are encouraged to bring back to shore their plastic waste, deposit it correctly in receptacles provided so they can in turn be recycled on their behalf. In the cases of the hotel’s on-water staff, all food packaging will be biodegradable and strictly returned to shore and collected for effective waste disposal.
The 15th Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek will take place July 18–22, 2018 headquartered at Cape Panwa Hotel. For more information, visit www.phuketraceweek.com.