dubai city skyline

Reduced Usage of Single-Use Plastics in Dubai

June 23, 2022

4 billion plastic bottles are consumed annually in the United Arab Emirates and 40% of all plastic in the country is single-use. This can be devastating for local wildlife, from sea turtles to camels. To drive change and consumer habits, Dubai has stepped up its commitment towards a more sustainable future, through the launch of ‘Dubai Can’. The move looks to reduce the city’s reliance on single-use plastic bottles, and in its initial stage, encourages residents and tourists to use reusable water bottles across 40 brand new water refill stations around the city. Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director of Tourism Development and Investments at Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, and Vice Chairman of Dubai Sustainable Tourism, told Euronews: “The idea came from His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai… [an idea that was] built with the private sector… focusing on eliminating plastic bottles from our lives. Air to Water Technology Yousuf Lootah revealed the initiative embraces the latest in advanced water technology, by using drinking water from air. He noted, “Air to water as a technology, in general, has been around for many years… and the technology got to the point where it became quite efficient to convert humidity in the air and condense it into water. We have a couple being implemented by our partners in different locations.” Partnerships Over 500 public and private sector companies have partnered with the Dubai-based campaign, with many sponsoring their own water fountains. These include international hotel groups such as Accor, who are also making big changes internally. Marc Descrozaille the Chief Operating Officer for the IMEA region at Accor told Euronews: “[The Dubai Can] coincided with our commitments on a global level to completely reduce and stop single-use plastic in all our hotels in the world… and it is something which also is very, very important for employees here. So, yeah, it’s a great partnership.” Yousuf Lootah highlighted Dubai as a base for partnerships with companies in green energy. He revealed, “There are companies that are introducing new formulas to convert the traditional plastics into real biodegradable plastic and not microplastics. So there is plenty of global movement on that. We’re seeing a lot of companies in green energy, in green technology, cleantech and agritech, looking at Dubai to be the base for their growth doors, their talent to connect with the world.” Recycling Another entity looking to make a difference is a free, recyclable, waste collection app called RECAPP by Veolia. Along with a local partner, the group is recycling plastic PET bottles into fabric fibre, used to fill pillows. The app also uses an incentive reward system to help encourage the community to recycle more. Jérôme Viricel, the General Manager of RECAPP by Veolia ME told Euronews, “By providing this reward system we encourage the population [and] we want to be able to educate people as well. That’s why we are using a different channel of communication in order to spread more, [and] giving tips in terms of recycling. This is also why we decided to […]

Read more
corals in the ocean

How our oceans may help us ensure a future that benefits people, environment, and the climate

June 9, 2022

When we look at our stunning deep blue world from the space, it seems we are able to see no boundaries. There is no distinction between our environment and nature, or between people and nature. We only see our one fragile, shared home in all the space. But when we attempt to manage the Earth’s resources, ensure its diversity of life and secure our futures, we often do not understand the environment, climate, and human health as if they operate independently. They are not. It’s time we recognize and leverage these fundamental connections in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and build a nature-climate-people-positive future. World Oceans Day, June 8th, is at the end of an important year for the earth and for humans. In the next few weeks, delegations from more than 200 countries will meet in Nairobi to further refine an international biodiversity plan for post 2020 within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and then in Lisbon to host the 2nd UN Ocean Conference, aiming to increase commitments and goals to protect the environment, sustainably utilization and investments in a healthy global ecosystem. These are crucial discussions in which businesses, governments and civil society are expected to define goals and strategies to stop and stop the decline of nature and create the opportunity to create radical and integrated solutions that encompass oceans, biodiversity and climate accords. These goals will establish an outline. If they’re ambitious and supported by concrete promises to achieve them the human race can restore its natural balance and ensure a sustainable future. If they do not meet the mark and only offer incremental changes then we’ll end up lost in the rough seas. Our ocean could be an ally of immense power when we take the right route. Through all the time of humanity the ocean has maintained our climate balanced and fed communities, facilitated the development of trade and economic growth as well as provided habitat for an amazing range of species. It will continue to provide all these benefits by integrating ocean protection and management into the global frameworks on biodiversity and climate that were established through the Paris Agreement and CBD, and ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. As co-focals for the UN Community of Ocean Action for the Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Management We strive to advocate for a range of different, region-based actions that are able to sustainably manage, safeguard the marine ecosystems. With the help of the creation of a new global biodiversity framework that we are hoping to ensure that there is a clear recognition of the benefits ocean ecosystems provide to an efficient, happy as well-being society. Habitats like mangroves coral reefs, seagrass along with coastal wetlands play an important part to ensure the stability of the economic as well as natural systems when faced with extreme events as well as the other effects of climate changes. Estimates of the worth of mangroves for flood risk reduction are more than $65 billion annually and, if mangroves were to disappear or were destroyed fifteen million more people would be affected by flooding each year all over the world. The ocean is the world’s largest carbon storage. For […]

Read more