Hamilton Island Environment and Sustainability Actions
As the largest inhabited island in the Whitsunday Islands, located in the heart of the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Hamilton Island is committed to ensuring we are continually working to reduce our environmental footprint.
What are we doing now?
We have an advanced sewerage treatment facility that takes in an average of 1 million litres of influent (raw sewage) every day. The solid and liquid waste is then treated through our sewerage plant producing ‘A’ class treated effluent, commonly known as grey water.
Over 95% of effluent water is re-used for irrigation on the island’s many gardens and parks.
We have our own island based recycling program that has led to an overall reduction in General Waste of 17% YOY over the last two years.
In July 2017, we purchased a liquid food waste composter that converts food waste to grey water. 6t of waste has been digested to date.
We work with facilities located in Mackay to recycle co-mingled waste produced on the island. We collect and bale over 1 tonne per day – diverting over 400t of cardboard from landfill every year.
Cardboard is separated from co-mingled recycling and is packed and sent on to Brisbane for reprocessing.
We also have introduced a process for recycling electronic items such as TVs and computers. These have been diverted from landfill and are being recycled on the mainland for precious metals. We are averaging 1t per month.
Doing away with single use plastics
In 2018 we continued to make progress with regard to the removal of single use plastics.
We removed single use plastic utensils from our food and beverage outlets and are utilising more bamboo, BioPak products and carbon neutral items.
We are in the process of removing plastic straws and single use plastic containers from our outlets.
Our kitchens no longer use plastic containers to store back of house food preparation. All kitchens now use re-usable containers for food preparation.
We have introduced six water fountains that offer free, filtered water across the island for guests and residents to refill their water bottles. Our aim is to have six more implemented by the end of 2019.
We reduced the number of plastic bottled water purchased by 12%. This result is just the start of our commitment to lower the bottled water usage on the island.
Rather than supplying individually bottled water at restaurants, the majority of our restaurants offer endless chilled or carbonated, filtered water refills at the table at a flat per person cost.
Conference and event group attendees are offered reusable water bottles for the duration of their stay. Single use plastic water bottles are no longer part of our standard offering.
Reducing our overall consumption
We have completed the first stage of changing all paper consumables like toiletries, tissue boxes and hand towels across to the environmentally considerate company Tork.
Our next reduction target focuses on napkins. The Tork Xpressnap system claims to decrease the number of napkins used by 25% and we’re in the process of implementing this solution.
2019 Sustainability Action Plan
We have seven initiatives planned for 2019 that will continue to move Hamilton Island towards our sustainability goals.
Food waste from all outlets across Hamilton Island to be processed by food waste composters in 2019.
We have ordered new machinery which will be able to process an additional 850kg of food waste per day. This will save an additional 40 skip bins being transferred per year to landfill. Our goal is to be processing all food waste from all outlets, but this is very ambitious – it will take some time.
Continued removal of plastic straws, cutlery and food containers across Hamilton Island owned properties and outlets.
Reduce the amount of single-use plastic water bottles purchased by a further 12%.
Increase water fountains around Hamilton Island from 6 to 12. This will help us continue to reduce single use plastic bottle consumption.
Update sewerage treatment plant infrastructure. Improvements will result in increased capacity, creating a more robust environmentally sustainable plant, and higher quality treated effluent for use on the parks gardens throughout the island.
Improve our Reverse Osmosis Plant infrastructure. Improvements to the existing water production process will reduce our overall energy consumption, and allow us to become more resilient during extreme weather events.
Investigate new power source opportunities. The objective is to find new ways to reduce power consumption and costs associated with running infrastructure like our sewage treatment and reverse osmosis plant.
What can you do to help?
When visiting Hamilton Island, there are many actions guests can take to help reduce our overall impact on the environment.
Use, buy and demand the environmentally conscious consumables we offer. By asking for these products, it helps guide us on what we need to supply and how much.
Be conservative with lights and air-conditioning.
Hold onto those towels and linen for just a couple more days. A little less laundry makes a big difference.
Be conscious about how much paper you use. Use one napkin, one hand towel... being conscious of our individual levels of consumption can really add up.
Bring or buy a refillable water bottle from any of our outlets and refill it at the water fountains.
Share your ideas! Let us know what you would like to see implemented or changed in your post-stay survey. These ideas are added to our radar and helps us to see what is most important to you.