By Marlon Madden
Simply off Freeway 3 in Walkes Spring, St Thomas is an organization that specialises in producing and bottling water in a sustainable method.
Eco Skywater pulls water from the environment – extracting water molecules from humid ambient air – utilizing off-grid know-how, locations it in bottles which can be compostable or reusable, and makes them obtainable to houses and companies.
Kyle Taylor, proprietor of the water manufacturing plant which sits on over 5 000 sq. toes of land and is surrounded by an natural farm, described the operation as a holistic ecosystem.
The corporate presently produces round 1 000 litres of water per day. Nonetheless water is positioned in overseas-manufactured plant-based bottles that are made into compost after use, and most of that goes again into the backyard.
Each nonetheless and glowing water can also be bottled in glass containers which solely go to eating places, accommodations and householders who return them when they’re empty to allow them to be reused.
Eco Skywater began in February 2020, mere weeks earlier than COVID-19 raised its head in Barbados.
Operations needed to be halted, leading to a container of about 62 000 bottles being dumped on account of warmth injury.
Nevertheless, Taylor stated as soon as COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted, he and his group bought right down to work about one and a half years in the past.
“It has been a battle, however now we have had an incredible quantity of help from the eating places, accommodations and householders who drink the water,” he stated.
Eco Skywater presently has 14 full-time staff.
Taylor additionally owns a boutique restaurant along with his spouse on the East Coast – Eco Restaurant – which they began about 5 years in the past, utilizing largely native objects which can be predominantly natural. That operation employs greater than 20 individuals.
The businessman defined that the concept for Eco Skywater got here out of the necessity for a more practical answer for offering water for the restaurant.
“I had glass bottles of water however they had been coming from abroad,” he stated. “It didn’t make sense to me that it’s water and I’m shopping for it from abroad. And whereas there are individuals making water on the island, nobody is placing it in glass. So I got down to assist repair this.”
Taylor initially produced the atmospheric water just for his restaurant, however rapidly determined to broaden that to supply for different eateries and bottle it for supermarkets, outlets and households.
He defined that a part of the concept was to assist wean Barbados off plastic and promote extra environmentally-friendly choices whereas limiting the quantity of bottled water being imported.
“There are three issues about our water which can be crucial – how we make the water, how we manufacture the water, and the way we bottle the water,” defined Taylor.
He stated it was his intention to have the water obtainable in “each rum store in Barbados”.
Although stressing that his motivation was not cash, he acknowledged that his product was barely extra pricey than some native and regional manufacturers. Nevertheless, he defined, this was because of the price related to manufacturing the plant-based bottles.
Taylor hopes to ultimately have the plant-based bottles manufactured on-island, and to export. This, he estimated, would simply create as much as 100 new jobs.
A part of his enlargement plan is to copy the operations right here in different components of the Caribbean and additional afield, by franchising.
“What now we have completed is that now we have sandboxed this concept of decentralising water in a sustainable method,” he stated. “Now we have been at it for a year-and-a-half and we are actually prepared to copy this.”
Taylor opted to not say how a lot he has invested to date however pointed to the advantages of his funding to the nation – producing each employment and tax income for the federal government.
The New Yorker first visited the island about eight years in the past along with his spouse and two youngsters for a weekend. He instantly fell in love with Barbados and determined they need to return to do enterprise right here.
Taylor stated he was interested in the island notably due to the local weather, good infrastructure, security and the friendliness of the individuals. Two years after his first go to, he returned.
“So we got here again once more and determined to make life right here, however being right here we didn’t simply need to move by as vacationers, we needed to offer again to the nation,” he stated.
With Barbados being a water-scarce nation, Taylor stated it was his imaginative and prescient for his firm to provide the dear useful resource for varied segments of the society sooner or later, by the supply of mini-structures which might take some strain off the Barbados Water Authority.
“We will put these in colleges the place they don’t must construct infrastructure, for instance. So, we are able to put in a tool at a college the place the youngsters get water and it may be put in protected areas in communities the place individuals can go there and get clear ingesting water,” he stated.
With the plant’s techniques absolutely solar-powered and off the nationwide grid, Taylor defined that it was additionally a type of pure catastrophe mitigation.
“When hurricanes occur, the most important havoc is [lack of] water as a result of there isn’t any energy to get the water in every single place. And whilst you can stay with out gentle, you can not stay with out water. For those who see any island that’s struck horribly, what individuals goal for is water and we ship all these plastic bottles of water. However do you see what occurs with all these plastic bottles and the trash as soon as the ability goes again on? They’re simply all sitting there. So that may all be mitigated,” he stated.
Taylor additionally believes that Eco Skywater will assist put a dent within the variety of plastic bottles being imported into the nation.
He sees his largest problem as educating the general public in regards to the significance of sustainable practices.
Along with the corporate’s training campaigns, it sponsors a number of occasions as a part of its company social duty. [email protected]