By Gavin Gibbon
McDonalds, Costa Coffee and Starbucks all committed to providing sustainable alternatives
Fast food giant McDonald’s is to replace over 5.6 million items with recyclable materials at Dubai’s two airports.
While Costa Coffee has committed to replacing its plastic-lined cups with a 100 percent renewable, plant-based ‘smart’ cup – the company uses more than 2.6 million cups a year in Dubai’s airports alone.
The moves come as both Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) prepares to ban all single-use plastics from January 1, 2020.
Eugene Barry, EVP Commercial at Dubai Airports, said: “This pledge is another step on a long journey to becoming a more environmentally responsible airport. Along with our partners, including global brands such as McDonald's, Costa Coffee and Starbucks, we are committed to not only removing single-use plastics but in their place providing appropriate and importantly sustainable alternatives.”
It is estimated that 5,500 tonnes of single-use plastic is generated at Dubai Airports each year, while 280 tonnes has been recycled in 2019 so far.
A specially-commissioned survey by Dubai Airports showed an increased awareness among travellers around personal usage of plastic products and recycling, at home and while travelling.
It revealed that 52 percent of respondents in the UAE claim to carry a reusable water bottle while travelling – already this year 29 metric tons of plastic bottles have been recycled from the security check points (an average of 11,000 bottles-a-day); while 49 percent would choose to dine in an airport restaurant to avoid plastic packaging that comes with take-out food options.
Almost a third (32 percent) of respondents refuse to buy items at the airport containing non-recyclable materials. And 92 percent said that airports should be more vocal about what steps they are taking to recycle waste.