Plastic is one of the most versatile, ubiquitous and inexpensive discoveries made by man which, unfortunately, in the past few decades have proven to be hugely detrimental to the environment.
Plastic production has increased from 15 million tonnes during the 1960s to a reported 311 million tonnes in 2014. This figure is expected to triple by 2050. A total of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter is found in every square kilometre of ocean.
Various organisations in the UAE have slowly started taking measures to reduce the use of and dependence on plastic.
The Hilton Hotels & Resorts, TRYP by Wyndham Dubai, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, JA Resorts & Hotels are some of the hotels in the UAE that have reduced or completely banned the use of plastic bottles and straws. A 650-room property in Barsha Heights, has created the region’s first-ever glass water bottle refilling system, eliminating the use of plastic bottles at that property.
Carrefour is rewarding its environmentally-conscious customers by handing out complimentary bags-for-life. Lulu Hypermarket rolled out a special checkout counter at its Al Barsha branch for people who bring their own reusable bags or buy one from the store.
Etihad Airways will be the first airline in the region to operate a flight without any single-use plastics on board.
Emirates has made a network-wide commitment to reduce single-use plastics on board its aircraft.
Jumeirah Restaurant Group (JRG) has announced a company-wide ban on single-use plastic straws, swizzle sticks, stirrers and toothpicks across all its food and beverage outlets. Freedom Pizza, Coya, The Royal Orchid, Gates Hospitality group and many more have picked on the trend
Private and government initiatives
Most companies in the UAE have realised the importance of sustainability and threats of climate change and have started taking measures such as saying no plastics and reducing wastages and allocating more funds for similar CSR activities.
Run for the Oceans was organised by Adidas and Parley to raise awareness of the threat of marine plastic pollution. Planet or plastic launched by national Geographic Abu Dhabi was another such initiative.