As part of its future vision for the emirate of Abu Dhabi, The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has set an aspirational, long-term target to achieve zero consumption of single-use plastics, while generating zero waste and zero carbon emissions, with zero impact on biodiversity through its ‘Mission to Zero’ public outreach campaign.
The Agency has taken already taken positive steps forward for it ‘Mission to Zero’ initiative for single-use plastic. This will include a campaign with various offline and online activations targeting all community members, government departments and businesses, retailers, restaurants, and youth. The goal is to encourage Abu Dhabi residents to shift to sustainable environmental alternatives such as reusable items to reduce the reliance on single-use items and minimise waste.
The main stakeholders targeted by the Agency are retailers, food catering outlets, restaurants, small grocery stores as well as government entities and private sector industries. Their role involves developing initiatives to reduce consumption of single-use plastic items. The general public is urged to spread the campaign’s messages among their social circles and adopt environmentally sustainable practices, in a bid to reach to the zero-use target.
The Agency has launched a ‘Mission to Zero’ communications programme, which includes social media, media, workshops, online and offline activations, as well as awareness outreach via the Green Business Network and the EAD-led Sustainable Schools and Campus Initiatives.
Ahmed Baharoon, Executive Director, Environmental Information, Science and Outreach Management at EAD, said, “Within our vision for achieving sustainable goals for the emirate of Abu Dhabi, we are always striving to devise ambitious and challenging solutions in our attempt to create real change. ‘Mission to Zero’, within its larger context, is a framework through which we hope to reduce single-use plastic, waste, carbon emissions and any impact on our species and habitats.
“As part of this bigger picture, one of our significant goals for Abu Dhabi Emirate is to drastically reduce the use of single-use plastic items, and, in support of this aim, we launched an integrated policy in 2020. Following this, we began our ban on single-use plastic bags on June 1st and, to complement this ambitious initiative, we have devised a ‘Mission to Zero’ public facing campaign to inspire the general public to shift towards the consumption of more environmentally-friendly products that can be reused, instead of depending on single-use plastic.
“Mission to Zero’ is a collaborative effort with other stakeholders under one campaign umbrella to amplify results and help us achieve one common goal. At the heart of what we do is our larger community of businesses and individuals who are critical and significant players in our path to success. ‘Mission to Zero’ is a focused and ambitious objective that will help raise the bar when reducing the consumption of single-use plastics, and our success depends on the whole community working together.”
He added, “This is a long-term campaign that will involve the use of creative messaging and tools to promote a shift towards reusable goods, fostering a positive mindset that naturally leans towards eco-friendly alternatives across all sectors. We want everyone in Abu Dhabi to know about Mission to Zero and to be part of this movement by taking small steps every day to instigate change.”
To date the ‘Mission to Zero’ single-use plastic component has gained the support of several retailers and witnessed the single-use plastic bag ban. For example, on May 23rd a group of senior executives from major retail outlets in the emirate of Abu Dhabi signed a voluntary declaration, committing to support the implementation of the Abu Dhabi Single-Use Plastic Policy. The leading brands included: Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society and Spar, Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, Choithrams, Spinneys, and Waitrose.
June 1st of this year marked the beginning of the implementation of the single-use plastic bag ban in Abu Dhabi. Retailers are offering reusable bags as substitute to single-use plastic.
Source: WAM: Amjad Saleh/ Lina Ibrahim