‘Dubai Can’ initiative cuts plastic bottle usage by one mln, marking World Oceans Day

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The ‘Dubai Can’ initiative - an ambitious recycling drive in the emirate – has resulted in a reduction in usage of more than one million 500ml single-use plastic water bottles, authorities have announced.

The result –announced as the globe marks World Oceans Day – comes 100 days after Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, announced the campaign which encourages people to carry refillable water bottles, use free public water fountains across the city and cut down on plastic waste.

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Authorities said at the time they wanted to create a “cultural shift” in the mindset of residents.

The ‘Dubai Can’ initiative has resulted in a reduction in usage of an equivalent of 1.077 million single-use plastic water bottles, with over 538,737 liters of water being consumed by Dubai’s residents and visitors from Dubai Can water fountains across the city.

There are already dozens of water fountains dotted at popular destinations, attractions, and public parks across the emirate and ‘Dubai Can’ is on track to meet the campaign pledge of installing 50 fountains across the city by December 2022.

Authorities said the water from Dubai Can fountains is filtered, desalinated water, safe to drink and like that found in any plastic bottle.

Dubai Can is part of the UAE’s commitment to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Yousuf Lootah, Executive Director – Tourism Development & Investments, and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Sustainable Tourism at Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said: “World Oceans Day is a day to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean and develop a worldwide citizens movement for the protection of oceans across the globe. Single-use plastic pollution is one of the biggest pollutants of oceans and we need to act now to find solutions to such environmental challenges.

“We are truly proud that the collective efforts of residents, tourists and communities across Dubai have resulted in the elimination of the equivalent of more than one million single-use plastic bottles.

“The success of the ‘Dubai Can’ initiative further contributes to our leadership’s goal to enhance Dubai’s position as a leading sustainable destination and bolsters our endeavor to become the best city in the world to live in, work and visit.

“World Oceans Day is an important milestone in the year as we take stock of the achievements of the city’s residents and visitors and recommit to Dubai’s sustainability goals. We will continue to encourage more residents and visitors to the city to embrace the initiative and refill for life.”

The ‘Dubai Can’ initiative encourages communities, businesses, residents and visitors to undertake simple changes such as using refillable water bottles and public water stations and installing water filters in their homes, offices and schools, which results in the reduction of single-use plastic water bottles.

Earlier this month, capital of the United Arab Emirates begun its ban on single-use plastic bags in its bid to encourage the use of reusable products as part of the country's sustainability drive.

Effective as of Wednesday June 1, the Abu Dhabi ban is part of a wider initiative to protect the environment and reduce waste.

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