What is the CLEAN -UP UAE Campaign?

05 December 2018

Lab Chat

The annual Clean-Up UAE Campaign kicks off next month, as thousands of volunteers from across all sectors and industries will join together to pick up litter and raise awareness about the importance of proper waste disposal protocols. Now in its 17th year, the campaign kicks off in Sharjah on December 8th and will come to a conclusion in Umm Al Quwain on the 17th of the month.

The campaign was first founded by the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) in 2002 in a bid to reduce the strain that the millions of tonnes of waste, generated by Emirati citizens every year, places on the environment. On the day after the conclusion of the campaign, a tree-planting event is scheduled to take place in Ras Al Khaimah to commemorate the late Sheikh Zayed, who instigated many reforms in the UAE during his tenure.

The thoughtlessness of a few

In total, UAE residents produce a colossal 29 million tonnes of waste every year. Thankfully, the majority of that is adequately dealt with via the municipal waste processing schemes in place in cities and towns across the country, but a significant amount still finds its way into the expansive deserts of the UAE.

This littering is often the result of thoughtlessness or ignorance from a select few campers, tour organisers and other careless individuals. Additionally, it has been observed that construction companies sometimes illegally dump their waste to avoid the charges associated with the proper routes of waste disposal.

Unfortunately, this unthinking minority does not realise the impact that their actions have not only on the planet and its current inhabitants, but also future generations. As a result, the Clean-Up Campaign was initially started to try and raise awareness and encourage responsible waste disposal and recycling practices among all members of society.

Changing attitudes

Over recent years, the sustained efforts of the EEG have served to raise the profile of environmentalism in the UAE. The country hosted its first environmental technology event in 2014, while the Dubai Expo 2020 is scheduled to have sustainability as its cornerstone and key focus. Initiatives like Clean-Up UAE only serve to consolidate that good work.

“In line with Expo 2020's key sub-theme of sustainability, our team is excited to contribute to Clean-Up UAE,” remarked Dina Mustafa, chief of sustainability at the Expo 2020 event. “We will continue to work with our fellow EEG members before, during and after Expo 2020 to empower people to lead more sustainable lives across the UAE and beyond.”

The Clean-Up UAE Campaign will be punctuated by a tree-planting event in honour of Sheikh Zayed, at which volunteers will plant a total of 1,000 Sidr trees. The ceremony has the triple purpose of cleaning up designating areas, repopulating their forestation numbers and paying homage to the man responsible for kickstarting an environmental consciousness in the country.

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