UAE, India come together to reduce plastic footprint on the occasion of World Environment Day

UAE consumes 13 billion plastic bags annually.

The Embassy of India in UAE and the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) have joined forces to ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.

On the occasion of World Environment Day, the minister of MOCCAE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, and Indian Ambassador to UAE Navdeep Singh Suri, and heads of leading private sector companies in the UAE got together at the MOCCAE headquarters in Dubai to pledge their support to fight plastic pollution on Tuesday, June 5. The private companies that took the pledge are Aster DM Healthcare, the Apparel Group and Lulu Group.

The UAE consumes 13 billion bags of plastic and approximately 450 billion plastic bottles per year, according to statistics from MOCCAE. India, on the other hand, consumes 13 million tonnes of plastic every year. India has been designated the global host for the World Environment Day 2018, which will get commemorated on June 5 with the theme being ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.

Heads of the ministry, the ambassador, and the business heads signed a pledge document supporting the initiative. The companies also laid down their future plans on reducing plastic consumption, including cutting down the use of plastic in their own workspaces.

For the future generations

Dr Thani said, “Eight million tonnes of plastic make their way into the oceans each year, and by 2050 the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish by weight? Or, that there are 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste on Earth?

“With gloomy facts such as these, the world needs to step up and join hands in raising awareness and inspiring a more decisive action to generate solutions that can turn these facts around and create a brighter future for our children and for generations to come.

Dr Thani said, “While plastic may be an essential component in many modern industries in the world and has proven economic value in securing our livelihoods, we now realise the dire need to strike a balance between its economic value and protecting the environment against its adverse effects through opting for greener choices when using and disposing of plastic.”

Meanwhile, the Indian ambassador to the UAE said, “Sustainable and harmonious development has been the guiding philosophy of India and UAE. As strategic partners, both have agreed to come together and jointly celebrate World Environment Day with an aim to explore sustainable alternatives and reduce plastic footprint.” As a first step, Suri announced that embassy officials have been provided with reusable water bottles and regular plastic bottles have been done away with.

Suri added, “In this collaborative effort, we seek to work with prominent businesses in UAE that can meaningfully contribute in reducing plastic pollution by adopting sustainable practices.”

Citing some good news, Thani added, “According to a recent survey commissioned by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, almost half of all UAE residents polled had an informed view of recyclables and were able to identify which plastics could be recycled, while also correctly matching plastic with the appropriate recycling code.”

Retailers pledge to phase out plastic from their outlets

From completely stopping the use of plastic bags to providing reusable water bottles to their employees, these three companies that signed the pledge with MOCCAE and Indian Embassy in the UAE have fully understood the urgency of providing a sustainable solution to climate change.

Aster DM Healthcare, for example, has decided to completely phase out the use of plastic bags in their pharmacies. Founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Azad Moopen said, “Being a doctor, I am well aware of the havoc plastic causes on the environment. Plastic takes 400 to 500 years to fully disintegrate, and in this time, it may have killed thousands of aquatic species. Given this, we at Aster have decided to completely phase out the use of plastics bags in our pharmacies.”

Moopen said, Aster Volunteers, the company which handles Aster’s CSR activities, will work together with educational institutions to collect used newspapers to make paper bags for the medicines.” He added, “We have about 2,500 customers per day, and we would like to phase the use of plastic out for all of them.” Moopen also said Aster would open more eco-friendly clinics like the one in Deira City Centre.

Neeraj Teckchandani, the CFO of Apparel FZCO said, “As a company, we consume 2.5 million bottles of water every day. We have decided to start our campaign by phasing out such consumption in our offices.” The group will also get rid of plastic bags from its retail outlets and use mobile check-in for its loyalty programmes, instead of providing customers with cards.”

James Varghese, regional director, Lulu, “In a bid to get people to use more plastic bags, Lulu group will insentivise its use. We’ve also introduced a new counter for customers who want to shop in reusable bags.”

 

News Source :

Gulf News                          – http://bit.ly/2Jewu9e

Khaleej Times                   – http://bit.ly/2sJrdeJ

24 Emirates                        – http://bit.ly/2sB3Rsr

Arabian Post Wire           – http://bit.ly/2xOCzUy

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