“People need to change the way they think of plastic.”
The UAE is taking its fight against plastic seriously with new legislations and guidelines on plastic waste consumption and disposal.
Yousif Alrayssi, director, municipal affairs department at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, told Khaleej Times that the ministry is working on creating a fundamental shift in public mindset and behaviours towards reducing, reusing and recycling plastic products.
“People need to change the way they think of plastic, understand the implications of using and disposing of plastic in an irresponsible manner and act accordingly.
We are spreading awareness of the matter to get members of the public on board with the nation-wide efforts to keep the plastic waste in our cities at a minimal level.”
The official said the ministry is currently running the ‘Responsible Consumption for Sustainable Future’ awareness campaign, under the theme ‘Preserving our Environment: Smart Use of Plastic’. The campaign is running from April 12 to 26, with the aim to raise awareness of the importance of preserving our environment and the smart use of plastic, by educating the public on green practices that promote the principles of the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – when using and disposing of plastic products at both corporate or personal levels.
The UAE has also issued a decision obliging manufacturers and suppliers of plastic products to register biodegradable plastic products according to the Emirates Conformity Assessment System (ECAS). They also have to adhere to the list of requirements and conditions for registering biodegradable plastics in accordance with the Emirati specification standards, UAE 2009:5009.
Also, there is a UAE Cabinet decision issued in 2009 regarding ban on production of plastic bags other than oxy-biodegradable ones. “Under the UAE’s Vision 2021, the country is aiming to divert 75 per cent of all generated waste, including plastic waste, from landfills. This indicator measures the percentage of treated waste out of the total generated waste (solid municipal waste) using various treatment methods (recycling, incineration, waste-to-energy, chemical treatment, exporting for external treatment, except for the landfill),” said Alrayssi.
Ibrahim Abdulmajid Al Ali, Projects and Facilities Director at Tadweer -Centre for Waste Management, Abu Dhabi, said door-to-door and mass awareness campaigns are being conducted targeting sustainable consumption, reducing waste generation and source segregation to promote recycling of all recyclables like plastic, paper, metal (aluminium cans), etc. “Since 2012, Tadweer has provided all residential areas with two separate bins – black for general household waste and green for all recyclable waste including plastic, paper and metal.”
Tadweer also runs a plastic waste recycling plant in Al Ain that receives all segregated plastic waste to produce plastic granules, which is raw material for plastic-based products manufacturing industries.
“Tadweer has developed an integrated waste management master plan for the next 25 years and the same has been approved by Executive Council of Abu Dhabi. Accordingly, Tadweer is working on establishing state of the art waste management facilities where waste including plastic bags, etc. will be processed to produce chemicals or biofuels including jet-fuel,” said the spokesperson.
Source : The Khaleej Times