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Abu Dhabi to phase out disposable plastics by 2021

A new environmental policy announced by the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) targets single-use plastics such as cups, lids, cutlery, straws and food containers.

The policy will encourage recycling and overall reduction of plastic bottle use by a bottle return deposit scheme.

Reactions to the new policy are highly positive, as an estimated 13 million tonnes of plastic enter oceans annually, endangering marine wildlife and toxically impacting the food chain.

Anti-plastics ambassador Tatiana Antonelli Abella, the founder and Managing Director of Goumbook, emphasised the need for more ghaf trees being planted and the prohibition of plastics.

“Through ‘Give a Ghaf’, one of Goumbook’s core initiatives, we not only raise awareness about the hazards of single-use plastics on the desert environment and animals, we also want to educate people on how plastic ends up as litter in the stomachs of camels or gazelles which can be deadly,” she said.

“We also encourage corporates, schools and individuals to reconnect with nature and understand the wildlife environment of the UAE and in doing so, change their actions to protect it.”

See more: Gulf News

100 percent plant-based water bottle unveiled

UAE food and beverage company Agthia has introduced the first plant-based water bottle packaging of the Middle East region.

The packaging material of the Al Ain brand of bottled water is a polylactic acid (PLA) which has 100 percent plant source origin, derived from corn sugars.

Along with the packaging being fully biodegradable, it also uses 60 percent less energy during the manufacturing process.

CEO at Agthia Group, Tariq Ahmed Al Wahedi, said: “Consumers are well informed and are increasingly choosing products and services that help decrease their environmental footprint and that are environmentally friendly.”

See more: Food Navigator-Asia

R&D center plans for solar park

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has launched a new research and development center at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, with its main focus on renewable energy, smart grid technologies, and energy efficiency.

The facility spreads over 4,400 sqm, and consists of both internal and outdoor labs used for different solar panel testing and performance purposes. It is the only facility of its kind in the UAE.

The center was inaugurated by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and current Ruler of Dubai on March 9.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA said: “We are seeking to make the UAE an efficient and influential part of the international academic and research community. We are committed to anticipating and shaping the future of energy and water.”

See more: ME Construction News

The 2020 Gulf Sustainability and CSR Awards are set ton take place in Dubai in June.

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