The purification system at Hayat Regency Hotel was installed in order to make the hotel plastic-free.
Hyatt Regency, an internationally franchised hotel in the capital, is the first hotel to bottle water for its own consumption.
To set up the water bottling plant, excluding the treatment facility, the hotel invested 40,000 dollars. Installed in the basement of the hotel, it currently treats and produces 1,000 glass bottles of water in half and one-litre sizes a day. Production started about two weeks ago.
Hyatt Regency, the second franchise hotel owned by a non-national, aside from Sheraton Addis Hotel, which is owned by business tycoon Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi (Sheik), imported the bottling machinery from Spain in May 2019. The installation of the machinery took two and a half months.
Standing at the junction of Africa Avenue and Jomo Kenyatta Street near Mesqel Square, the hotel keeps 5,000 reusable half and one-litre glass bottles in stock.
The hotel aspires to be a plastic-free hotel and contribute to the protection of the environment, according to Heddo Siebs, general manager of Hyatt Regency Addis Abeba. The Hotel is owned by Albwardy Investment, a Dubai-based company founded in the mid-70s. Albwardy Investment owns a total of 30 companies globally, including in the food retailing, food distribution, engineering, construction and hospitality sectors.
"The primary aim of building the water bottling plant is not maximising profits," said Heddo. "Instead, it focuses on creating a sustainable environment."
High-income countries that account for 16pc of the world's population are generating more than 34pc of global waste, according to a World Bank report from 2018. The East Asia and Pacific regions are disposing of close to 23pc of global waste. By 2050, waste generated by Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to triple that of current levels.
The largest country by population, China, produces a massive quantity of plastic at nearly 60 million tonnes, followed by the United States at 38 million tonnes, Germany and Brazil at 14.5 million and 12 million tonnes, respectively.
The hotel opened its doors on December 31, 2018, with 188 guestrooms, 12 suites, two executive suites, a presidential suite and a royal presidential suite. The Hotel will sell the water at a similar price to other plastic bottled water in the market.
Hyatt Regency is one of 164 star-rated hotels in the capital that hosts a total of 8,000 to 10,000 rooms. It is located five kilometres from Bole International Airport. Hyatt Regency is also the eighth internationally franchised hotel in the capital along with Sheraton, Radisson Blu, Hilton, Ramada, Marriot, Best Western, Golden Tulip and Tulip Inn Olympia.
Feyera Senbeta (PhD), lecturer and researcher at Addis Abeba University's Centre for Environmental & Developmental Studies for more than two decades, appreciates the initiative for using non-plastic bottles.
"Using plastic bottle nowadays is a major environmental concern across the world," he said. "Besides, plastic takes a long time to degrade and releases harmful chemicals into the surrounding environment."
Feyera recommends other hotels follow suit in using environment-friendly products.