Here are six ways businesses aren working towards a plastic-free UAE, where some real positive change is starting to happen, and working to cut down on garbage and plastic.
Hilton Hotels bans plastic straws: Hotels run by Hilton in the UAE have joined those across the rest of the chain to ban the use of all plastic straws. Estimates are that the initiative will remove five million plastic straws from the environmental chain across Europe, Africa and the Middle East alone. In their place? Paper or biodegradable alternatives. The company celebrated by commissioning replica sculptures made from straws – which take 200 years to decompose – of the Burj Khalifa, the Eiffel Tower and the London Shard.
Lulu Hypermarket launches a “green” checkout in Dubai: Hopefully, Lulu Hypermarket will expand the rollout of the special checkout counter launched at its Al Barsha branch for people who bring their own reusable bags or buy one from the store. The store also distributed 6,000 reusable shopping bags in the area as part of its “I Choose to Reuse” campaign, which runs until June 20 in partnership with Dubai Municipality’s Waste Management Department.
Order a Careem electric-car pick-up in Dubai: If you use the Careem car-service app in Dubai, you will find that it now lets customers trim their carbon footprint by ordering a Model S Tesla with the “Careem Electric” option. Sadly, not yet available in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi hotel will be entirely plastic free: Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts set a major precedent by deeming the 293-room Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort plastic-bottle and plastic-straw free. In a partnership with Trust Your Water, the hotel will serve filtered water in glass bottles and give each guest a free, reusable bottle that they can refill at water stations throughout the facility.
Dubizzle helps cut carbon output: Dubizzle, the online listing company, says it helped UAE residents buy or sell 1.4 million items in 2017. That resulted, it claimed, in savings of more than 2.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to approximately a third of the carbon output of all cars on the road in Dubai today. The company goes beyond its app when it comes to having a social conscience, offering free repairs for everyday items at local markets and providing free car-safety inspections.
Dubai cafe commits to zero-waste: There are two reasons to visit the Bay Square cafe Kad Che. First, you can customize many of the menu items – the crispy shrimp panini with baby rocca and avocado coriander tartar is highly recommended. And next, the owner has made a commitment so producing zero waste. Kad Che has partnered with the UAE Food Bank to distribute all leftover food that is in a fit state for consumption.
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.