Aiming to enhance public awareness on waste recycling and promote responsible attitudes towards the problem of littering, employees from Borouge and TAKREER, as well as volunteers and school children from Abu Dhabi Education Council joined hands and cleaned up the Yas beach in Abu Dhabi and the ADNOC beach in Jebel Al Dhanna near Ruwais as part of their contribution to the fifth edition of 'waste free environment' campaign.
Advocating the principles of reuse and recycling, the ‘waste free environment’ campaign, which was organised on 28 February 2017 in Ruwais and on 5 March 2017 in Abu Dhabi, aimed to enhance society’s awareness about environment protection and the necessary actions that should be taken to stop irresponsible disposal of waste into the environment. Initiated by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), the clean-up drive brought together businesses and community members to share their responsibilities and contribute towards conserving our surroundings and protecting our planet.
“Borouge is proud to lead this important clean-up campaign for the fifth year in a row and we are committed to educate the public, particularly the youth, about the dangers of littering and its impact on nature and the marine life,” said Ahmed Omar Abdulla, CEO, Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), in his speech during the launch of the campaign in Abu Dhabi.
“It is exciting to host our largest annual community-based environmental campaign this year along with TAKREER to instil the culture of collection, segregation and recycling of waste as the optimum solution for addressing litter problem in a sustainable and responsible manner. Promoting the recycling of plastic waste is an essential part of our sustainability objectives and the values on which the industry is based. Holding the ‘waste free environment’ campaign sequentially in the western region, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore further embodies our strong commitment towards protecting and preserving the environment where we live and work.”
Jasem Ali Al Sayegh, CEO, TAKREER, said: “TAKREER is pleased to join Borouge in their ‘waste free environment’ campaign to help protect and clean the environment. We believe that the waste free campaign would go a long way in inculcating eco-consciousness for the society at large.”
“We, in TAKREER, believe that the principal objective is to minimise generation of waste at our facility. The next important step in efficient waste management is segregation, followed by the ‘3Rs’ – reuse, recycle and recover. TAKREER firmly believes in the ‘duty of care’ principle to minimise adverse impact on the environment and exercise the principle of loss prevention. TAKREER operates a state-of-the-art waste management facility – BeAAT – at Ruwais Industrial Area with a capacity of 26,000 MT/year to treat hazardous waste generated from all ADNOC group companies. The generated waste is treated and disposed by following the highest standards and in the most environment-friendly manner,” added Al Sayegh.
As a leading manufacturer of plastic raw materials and a provider of innovative, value-creating plastic solutions to various industrial sectors, Borouge promotes through the ‘waste free environment’ campaign the fact that plastic is not the main reason behind litter problem; it is rather the irresponsible behaviour of some people, who leave their waste behind carelessly, polluting the environment.
“In line with the UAE Vision 2021 towards diverting 75% of waste away from landfills, and in line with Borouge’s social responsibility commitment, the ‘waste free environment’ campaign strongly supports the three pillars of sustainability – people, planet and profit,” said Maitha Al Marashi, CSR advisor, Borouge.
“Highlighting the impact of litter improves the well-being of society. It dramatically increases the importance of protecting the environment and improves the overall economic development. The collection and recycling of plastic waste is one of Borouge’s key principles of sustainability and social responsibility, and through such 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,” observed Al Marashi.
Borouge promotes proactive actions towards addressing the litter problem, which requires a collective remedy and collaboration of government and private entities. Nevertheless, plastic waste can still be found in abundance in the marine and desert environments due to the behavioural issues of some individuals.
It is important to have a correct understanding of the nature, benefits and the recycling and reusing of plastics to contribute to the elimination of the litter problem. More importantly, educating people on the responsible use of plastics and the value they bring to society becomes a necessity.
HE Eisa Saif Al Qubaisi, general manager, Tadweer (Centre of Waste Management, Abu Dhabi), said: “Tadweer strives to support and take part in all the events and campaigns that aim to educate the communities on preserving the environment. The ‘waste free environment’ campaign seeks to raise awareness on the importance of recycling and to encourage community members to implement efficient waste management practices. This comes in line with Tadweer’s objectives to foster a conscious community and turn waste into an economic driver.”
HE Mohammad Salem Al-Dhaheri, school operations executive director, Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), stressed the importance of protecting the environment, calling it a ‘huge responsibility’. He added that ADEC seeks to spread the culture of environmental awareness, while promoting the concept of a sustainable school environment, which requires unified and joint efforts with various environmental sectors, while adopting sustainable practices in the field of waste management, thus stimulating a sense of responsibility in the overall community.
Al-Dhaheri pointed out that it is crucial to encourage students to participate in activities that contribute to raising the value of awareness on how to dispose and recycle waste properly, without resulting in an environmentally negative impact.
Al-Dhaheri further added that a ‘waste free environment’ campaign is considered one of the most important initiatives that will contribute to strengthening the spirit of teamwork and mutual efforts across schools, as well as in private and public entities. The campaign aims to achieve the desired goals in the beach clean-up campaign, reflecting social responsibility and commitment to environmental preservation and protection.
Fozeya Al Mahmoud, director of environmental outreach at Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), said: “Supporting Borouge and Takreer in organising ‘waste free environment’ campaign is in line with our agency’s mission to protect the environment and increase public awareness about the impact pollution can have on the Emirate’s natural habitats. Such campaigns will help us to direct the public towards positive attitudes in maintaining a clean and sound environment by practice and participation.”
As much as 1.65kg/day of solid municipal waste is being generated per capita in Abu Dhabi, according to the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, making it one of the highest generators of waste in the world. A research by the GPCA revealed that out of the 80 million tonnes of waste generated in the Gulf region 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 percent of total waste.