How is the UAE cutting down on PLASTIC POLLUTION?

05 August 2018

Lab Chat

The problem of plastic pollution is one of which the world is becoming ever more conscious and the UAE is no different. Due to the intense heat in the country, bottled water is widely consumed (last year alone, UAE residents consumed 768.1 million bottles), with the vast majority of those being sent straight to landfill or, worse, ending up in the ocean.

However, awareness around the issue is growing and already, there are a number of initiatives in place to try and reduce the amount of plastic consumed in the country. Here are just a handful of the measures and incentives which have taken place over the first half of 2018 to try and bring down plastic pollution in the emirate.

Guinness World Records

An awareness-raising campaign earlier this year took the unusual step of breaking a Guinness World Record to make its point. After collecting almost 60,000 used water bottles, schoolchildren from Dubai made the longest line of plastic bottles in history, stretching over 3.8km in total. That’s more than four-and-a-half times the size of the Burj Khalifa.

“Drop It”

This campaign aims to reduce the number of bottles consumed by UAE residents. At present, 250 litres of bottled water are consumed by each person in the country every year, resulting in a huge amount of waste. The campaign focuses not only on reducing water consumption, but reusing plastic bottles as well.

The final straw

Although not banned in the country, the single-use plastic straw appears to be on borrowed time in the UAE. Already, a whole host of major restaurants have ditched the straw, including Coya, Freedom Pizza and the Gates Hospitality group, which includes a number of big names in the UAE culinary scene.

Waitrose leading the way on plastic bags

It’s well-documented that single-use plastic shopping bags are terrible for the environment, though it’s unclear whether paper bags are any better. Supermarket chain Waitrose have taken the lead on the issue by charging their customers 0.25 fils per bag over the summer as a trial, to see if it encourages people to reuse existing bags rather than buy new ones.

Planet or Plastic?

On World Environment Day, which took place on June 5th 2018, National Geographic Abu Dhabi launched a new campaign to raise awareness about the importance of reducing plastic pollution in the country. As well as a consumer education programme, the initiative also includes scientific studies and partnerships with similar organisations from around the world.

Run for the Oceans

Last month, sportswear brand Adidas teamed up with environmental non-profit organisation Parley to host an awareness-raising run in Dubai. Taking place on June 22nd, the event kicked off at 5.30am at Nessnass Beach amid 38°C heat, and despite the unpleasant temperatures, hundreds of people came out to support the cause. For every kilometre run by every participant, Adidas donated $1 to the cha

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