Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Committed to supporting the UAE National Environment Day on the 4th of February, over 3,000 people, including predominantly students from schools in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region, joined hands in cleaning-up the Shweihat beach at Jebel Dhanna near Ruwais and Al Rahba beach in Abu Dhabi on 9 and 11 February 2016, respectively. The participants collected big amounts of waste as part of the ‘Waste Free Environment’ campaign jointly organised by Borouge, FERTIL and ChemaWEyaat.
Rashed Saud Al Shamsi, Petrochemicals Director at ADNOC, Chairman of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) and Chairman of Borouge Pte Ltd; Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge); Dr Ali Obaid Al Yabhuni, CEO of FERTIL; and Saleh Al Mansoori, Madeenat ChemaWEyaat Responsible Care Manager; have joined the school children and members of the community at the annual event in Abu Dhabi.
Held annually under the initiative of the (GPCA), the fourth edition of the ‘Waste Free Environment’ campaign has successfully contributed to enhancing the public awareness about environment protection and the necessary actions that should be taken to stop the irresponsible disposal of waste. The two campaigns took place in cooperation with Tadweer (Centre of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi), and with great support from the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), and Abu Dhabi Municipality.
This year’s ‘Waste Free Environment’ campaign is, once again, being held simultaneously across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. Being a global plastics company, Borouge is extending the same clean-up campaign outside the UAE to include Mumbai in India on 14 February, and Shanghai in China on 19 February 2016.
“Borouge, together with FERTIL and ChemaWEyaat are committed to educate the public, mainly the young generation, about the dangers of littering that harms the nature and the marine life and promote the importance of environment preservation,” said Abdulaziz Alhajri, CEO Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge). “Holding the Waste Free Environment clean-up campaign sequentially in the Western Region, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and Shanghai embodies our strong commitment to protect the environment where we live and work and contribute towards encouraging the responsible disposal of waste and recycling.”
The campaign provided Borouge with an opportunity to highlight the great value that plastics bring to society and that plastics is not the main reason behind the litter problem, but the irresponsible behaviour of people who leave their waste behind carelessly, Alhajri explained.
“The collection and recycling of plastic waste is one of Borouge’s key principles of sustainability and social responsibility, and through such clean-up campaigns we call upon the local community and all environmental organisations to join efforts and encourage the public to stop littering and adopt sustainable practices of waste management to keep our environment safe and preserved.”
Alhajri pointed out the significance of initiatives such as the ‘Waste Free Environment’ through which businesses and the community can be actively involved to promote the sense of responsibility in getting rid of our waste properly without harming the environment. He noted that instead of demonising plastics products, which are essential aspects of our modern life, society benefit from such campaigns to promote reusing plastic products and recycling them in proper ways.
His Excellency Eisa Saif Al Qubaisi, General Manager, Tadweer (Center of Waste Management), said: “At Tadweer, we seek to participate in leading social causes, community and ecological initiatives to highlight our environmental messages through collaborating with public and private sector organizations. Our participation in the beach clean-up campaign articulates this social responsibility and keenness to carry on the conversation around creating safer, cleaner, and more sustainable environments in line with the objectives of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.”
Fozeya Al Mahmoud, Director of Environmental Outreach at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), said: “At EAD, one of our priorities is to raise public awareness on the hazards of pollution. By supporting the ‘Waste Free Environment’ campaign jointly organised by Borouge and FERTIL, we are working towards our common goal of influencing the public to adopt more environmental friendly behaviors and play an effective role in the preservation, of our terrestrial and marine ecosystems today, and for generations to come”.
While the UAE is still witnessing a rapid industrial growth, remarkable construction boom and considerable increase in population, the country records one of the highest rates of waste generation per capita in the world, and therefore, much is being done at a regulation and waste management level to address this problem.
According to the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, the solid municipal waste generation per capita stands at 1.7kg/day. Abu Dhabi is one of the highest generators of waste in the world and significantly higher than developed countries in Western Europe.
A research by the GPCA revealed that out of the 80 million tonnes of waste generated in the Gulf every year, plastic waste is responsible for approximately one third, or 26 million tonnes of waste. Recycling rates in the GCC have been estimated at less than 10% of total waste.