An estimated 700 volunteers from 14 schools alongside community members joined together for a day of educational activities and cleaned up the shores of Dubai’ Sunset Beach today, as part of the Waste Free Environment campaign.
Supported by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Dubai Municipality, Waste Free Environment is a global initiative hosted by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association each year that reinforces the concept of responsible litter disposal and promotes recycling and its benefits
“Development plans, whether they are for education, healthcare or the economy, are a crucial strategic foundation for any country that wishes to progress,” said H.E. Engineer Essa Abdulrahman Al Hashmi, acting Minister of Climate Change and Assistant Undersecretary Environmental Affairs.
He continued, “In the UAE we are fortunate that these strategies have been mapped out by the country’s consistently farsighted leaders. Initiatives such as the Waste Free Environment campaign prove that these long-term goals are resonating with the people of the United Arab Emirates. We are immensely proud to note that our communities are not only giving back with their time and effort, but are also developing good habits that benefit the longevity of this planet.”
Along with Dubai, this year’s campaign was concurrently held in 13 cities in the GCC, India China and the Netherlands. In 2015, WFE gathered over 52 tons of waste collected by over a thousand volunteers in the GCC, Europe and India.
“Actions such as reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering are behaviours that we need to inculcate now, as the resources we use to live are finite,” explain Dr.Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA. “The problem of litter is ultimately a man-made challenge, and by this reasoning, the solution will arise out of collective action of communities, rather than a single group.”
The Dubai leg of WFE was also supported by Suez Environment (formerly Trashco-Sita) Shell Chemicals, SABIC and LyondellBasell. Similar clean-up events in other cities were sponsored by some of the GCC’s top petrochemical companies.
“Since the inception of the WFE in 2011, we have noticed a gradual transformation in perceptions—one where people are mindful of the way they dispose waste. And for this, we are thankful to our partners, volunteers and team, who have been instrumental in achieving this positive change,” concluded Dr. Al-Sadoun.