Sustainability in Peru: Plants vs Plastic

Peru boasts an enormously rich culture of ecological diversity and wonder; from the scenic rusty terrain of the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the vibrant green mountainscape of Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Peru is a place of exquisite natural beauty. Our beautiful country is home to an abundance of native flora and is making waves in forward-thinking initiatives to reduce plastic waste and adopt a proactive approach in upholding its sustainable landscape.

At Inkaterra we invest in a whole host of research projects and initiatives, focusing on sustainability, conservation and social responsibility, working with NGO, ITA (Inkaterra Asociación) to research our surroundings, to teach those interested about the importance of caring for our environment and to help local communities..

NGO, ITA focus on sustainability, conservation and social responsibility, including reducing plastic.

There are many actions taking place globally to reduce the amount of plastic waste being produced. At Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas,  guests are invited to pick their own produce with the “Earth to table’ initiative which aims to reduce the use of chemicals in the cultures, eliminate the need for packaging and give guests an immersive tasting experience, exclusive to Inkaterra. With delicious dishes inspired by the cuisine of the region, our chefs utilise lots of native produce to give visitors an unforgettable meal while living harmoniously off the land. This dining initiative at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is sure to spark a love of Peruvian food as well as educating guests about the need to reduce plastic waste.

At Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, guests are invited to pick their own produce with the “Earth to table’ initiative, eliminating the need for plastic packaging.

Throughout each of our properties, we are removing all single-use plastic; to be completed by the end of 2019 and guests visiting Inkaterra now will find that there are no straws available and that most drinks come in glass bottles rather than plastic. In cooperation with NGO, ITA and the AJE group, we help manage and recycle the abundance of plastic waste left by tourists visiting Machu Picchu using a compacting machine, housed in Machu Picchu Pueblo. This has become an incredible asset in addressing the waste management crisis that played a part in the ancient Inca citadel being evaluated for UNESCO’s list of ‘World Heritage in Danger’ in 2016.

One or our latest innovations in sustainability, in partnership with the AJE Group, launched just last week. The newly inaugurated first organic waste treatment plant through pyrolysis in Machu Picchu Pueblo will make the area the first to manage 100% of its solid waste! We are proud to be involved in such an incredibly pioneering initiative and hope this model is replicated across other areas in Peru in the future. The plant has the capacity to process seven tons of waste per day to generate bio-coal, a natural fertilizer that will help with the reforestation of the Andean cloud forest and contribute to agricultural productivity in Machu Picchu.

Tourists visiting Machu Picchu often leave their plastic waste in the ancient Inca citadel

Not only does Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel play an important part in Machu Picchu’s waste management, but it is also home to a biodiesel production plant, which processes burnt cooking oils and turns it into biodiesel. Much of the oil that is processed at the plant has been donated by local communities, hotels, and restaurants, which is helping to avoid oil spills in the Vilcanota River which faces the hotel.

These are just a few of the eco-friendly initiatives at Inkaterra, discover more by reading our conservation and sustainability blog posts and learn about the incredible research being done by the ITA by visiting www.inkaterra.com.