The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, has teamed up with the Coalition of Innovation in Recycling towards a Closed Loop Economy, Coalition Circle, to pilot a closed loop recycling model for plastic bottles, beverage cartons, and other packaging in Abu Dhabi.
Coinciding with Earth Day, observed on 22nd April every year, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, hosted a roundtable at MOCCAE’s Abu Dhabi premises to discuss the new partnership. During the roundtable, Saif Al Shara, Assistant Under-Secretary for Sustainable Communities Sector, and members of the coalition signed a pledge representing a voluntary commitment to developing a circular economy model to tackle plastic and packaging waste pollution by improving mechanisms of collection and recycling.
Highlighting some of the issues that make tackling plastic pollution an urgent priority for the UAE, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said, “Statistics indicate that nearly 13 million tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year, causing annual ecological losses of over US$13 billion to marine ecosystems. It is also expected that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050.”
“As for the terrestrial environment, studies have shown that plastic releases toxic chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can then seep into the groundwater or other water sources. This can cause diverse harmful effects on species that grow in the soil and consume the contaminated water,” he added.
The minister went on to say, “Recognising the gravity of this issue and in a bid to address the root cause of plastic pollution, the UAE government is taking active measures to shift towards a more plastic-circular economy and adopt environment-friendly waste management solutions. Our integrated approach to waste management is in line with the country’s ambitious target of diverting 75 percent of municipal solid waste away from landfills by 2021.”
MOCCAE and the Coalition Circle urge organisations, institutions, and residential communities in Abu Dhabi to play a role in the nation’s transition to a green economy by contributing their segregated packaging (bottles, multi beverage carton, bag and other materials) for the pilot project.
Members of Coalition Circle include BASF, Borouge, Tetra Pak, Carrefour, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemicals, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, McDonald’s UAE, Nestlé, Procter &Gamble, PepsiCo, Unilever and Emirates Nature – WWF.