Hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) is replacing single-use plastic bottles with reusable glass water bottles at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club, and Victoria Falls Safari Suites.

In the next two weeks, The Boma – Dinner and Drum Show, and Lokuthula Lodges will do the same.

This will see the use of more than 80 000 plastic bottles a year eliminated from the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge estate and hotel rooms, restaurants, and bars. AAT Chief Executive, Ross Kennedy, said: “We shall now aim to reduce and then remove as much other plastic as possible from our operations, to a point in 2021 where there is hopefully zero – for example, plastic laundry bags, plastic shopping bags and other plastic bottles, such as juice bottles.”

The move follows the installation of the Natura water system earlier this month, which purifies water onsite through a three-stage filtration system. Water is then put into glass bottles for guest use, after which the bottles are collected, washed, sterilised, and reused. The system can produce both still and sparkling water.

“The impact of this initiative has many benefits – there will be over 80 000 fewer plastic bottles going out into the environment.” There would be less plastic in circulation to find its way into the wild and therefore potentially harm wildlife, especially elephants, Kennedy added.

He also pointed out that it would have an impact on waste management, as there would be less litter to be dealt with, and it would also allow for reduced water costs to guests.

Water dispensers are provided to guests who wish to fill their own bottles, and aluminium bottles are sold at the souvenir shops.

This development comes after the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge estate stopped using plastic straws, and launched the Victoria Falls recycling project last year.