This HIM graduate tackled the issue of sustainability in the hospitality sector head on and started her own company.
TerraMavi is the brain child of two friends, Berivan Birkan and Aynur Tasim, both entrepreneurs, who met in Shanghai and bonded over their concern for the ocean. They saw the sheer volume of plastics that enter our oceans, only to harm precious wildlife and pollute the waters, and made it their mission to sow the seeds of change, one zero waste product at a time, with their company TerraMavi.
Aynur, who graduated from HIM in 2014, explains the meaning of the name. ”Terra refers to Mother Earth and mavi means blue in Turkish (a shout-out to Aynur’s Turkish heritage). We wanted a name is inspired by the wonder of Mother Nature.”
“Our background and experience in the hospitality industry made us aware of the amount of plastic waste produced by a single hotel in a year. For example, a single 200-room hotel can create 300,000 pieces of single-use plastic in a month,” explains Aynur.
According to National Geographic, 73% of beach litter worldwide is plastic, while in the Mediterranean Sea, it constitutes 85% of the floating litter and 45% to 95% of the litter found on the seafloor. The most commonly found items are straws, bottles, and cotton buds.
When we know that the travel and tourism industries account for a staggering 10.2 percent of the global GDP, it’s hardly a surprise how changes in hotel operations could have a huge impact on reducing plastic waste.
Few guests would use freshly washed and dried towels and bed linen on a daily basis if they were at home, nor would they consume a tiny plastic bottle of shower gel on a daily basis – yet this is what many hotels still feel they must provide.
An article published by property management system provider Mews, highlights a stark reality, “Few guests would use freshly washed and dried towels and bed linen on a daily basis if they were at home, nor would they consume a tiny plastic bottle of shower gel on a daily basis – yet this is what many hotels still feel they must provide. Those miniature plastic bottles found in most hotel rooms often end up on a landfill site or washed up on a beach.”
“At TerraMavi, we want to find solutions to this pollution of our oceans by supplying restaurateurs and hoteliers with natural, zero-waste alternatives to single-use plastic”, share Aynur. “We aspire to ushering in a new normal that doesn’t include plastic and want to shift global consciousness by reducing plastic waste and ultimately caring more about the planet.
At TerraMavi, we want to find solutions to this pollution of our oceans by supplying restaurateurs and hoteliers with natural, zero-waste alternatives to single-use plastic.
“We do this by creating beautiful eco-friendly, ethically sourced products using only premium quality, chemical-free materials that meet the highest safety and hygiene standards and that are 100% compostable. Some of our plastic-free, zero waste products include bamboo cutlery and toothbrushes, coconut bowls, calico tote bags, and all types of nature-blessed straws. We have worked hard to reduce our carbon footprint at every stage of our process. This is why we also ensure that our packaging is 100% recyclable, including biodegradable stickers!
“We have built close relationships with farmers in Indonesia, Ukraine, and Vietnam and make sure that production is ethically fair to the local communities. From bamboo to wheat, all of our ingredients are sustainably sourced and cultivated. Having a transparent, traceable supply chain is the cornerstone of TerraMavi and operating out of Bangkok and Geneva, we are able to remain close to both our producers and customers.