After just five days since its implementation, Dubai Municipality’s Giant Bag initiative has collected almost one million plastic bottles.
Shoppers were asked to fill a giant bag at Lulu Hypermarket in Al Barsha – that’s about 2,000 kilograms of waste. Now that part of the project is complete, how can people living in Dubai do their bit for the environment?
If you were born in a certain era, you might remember the Captain Planet cartoon along his irritatingly catchy theme tune. ‘He’s our hero,’ it went, ‘gonna take pollution down to zero’ it promised. Remember? Sadly, Captain Planet and his signature green mullet never manifested in the real world, so the task of looking after the planet has fallen to us.
We’re not sure how great he would have been at creating and managing sustainable recycling projects anyway. Administration was never his strong point. He was more about disrupting illegal logging operations with his hastily-summoned bolts of lightning.
The work that Dubai Municipality is doing in fostering green attitudes to waste management and investing in new technology to reduce the need for refuse disposal is vitally important for creating a sustainable future for Dubai. And of course the rest of the world.
But what can we do?
The good news is: there are lots of ways we can get involved, plenty of projects aimed at making a positive impact on our environment. From beach clearance to charitable clothes donations to domestic recycling practices, we can all do our bit for a greener tomorrow.
Dubai is blessed with miles of pristine coastline. But it doesn’t happen by accident. Keeping it looking desert island-fresh is the work of Dubai Municipality and community groups like ABCD (A Beach Cleanup Dubai). ADCB host volunteer beach cleaning meet ups throughout the year, at beaches across Dubai. The next session will be on the 8th December, focusing on the involvement of school children and combining making the world a better place, with fun crafts.
From 8am, 8th December. Location is now changed to Kite Beach, near the volleyball courts. Call 055 325 6754 or more info, or visit facebook.com/ABCD
Follow the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) on Facebook
The EEG hosts a variety of community action projects throwout the year, including clean up campaigns, workshops and collection days. Like its page to keep an eye on upcoming events and information on how you can get directly involved with helping to preserve our environment here in the UAE.
Recycling begins at home
One of the best ways to contribute to the reduction of waste, is to take matters in to our own hands. Many apartment blocks and villa complexes have access to their own community recycling programmes. But if you aren’t lucky enough to have one on your door step, check out the local services in your area – many supermarkets have recycling bins outside that collect waste and pre-loved items.
Recycle-friendly bins are starting to appear in malls too, including Dubai Marina Mall and Mall of the Emirates. Dubai Municipality plans to launch 13 recycling centres around Dubai and you can find the first two at the Al Manara Centre and Karama Park.
A private company called Green Truck Recycling will come and collect directly from you weekly (for a fee, monthly subscription is AED 100).
DEWA, along with other service providers, has gone paperless for bills. Other initiatives, such as Namaa from Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), are likewise seeking to limit wastage of paper.
We are definitely moving in the right direction; check out the Government’s own list of green targets for 2021. We can always do more, but the important point is that we all contribute (buy a bag for life, practice water conservation, use public transport, recycle) and that we get behind any new projects aimed at creating a more sustainable world.
Neither Captain Planet, nor his green mullet, are coming to save us.