UAE packaging waste: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Unilever sign deal with government

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

The UAE government, along with a newly-formed coalition made up of NGOs and corporate firms, will run a pilot project in Abu Dhabi aimed at improving plastic waste collection. ©Getty Images
The UAE government, along with a newly-formed coalition made up of NGOs and corporate firms, will run a pilot project in Abu Dhabi aimed at improving plastic waste collection. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Packaging, Coca-cola, Pepsico, Uae, Unilever

The UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has teamed up with a coalition formed by NGOs, local and global food firms, including MNCs such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, PepsiCo, P&G, and Unilever in combating local plastic and packaging waste pollution.

The coalition, also known as the Coalition of Innovation in Recycling towards a Closed Loop Economy (Coalition Circle) will run a pilot project in Abu Dhabi aimed at improving plastic waste collection.

The project will examine the economic and environmental impact of plastic and other types of packaging.

As part of the project, organisations, institutions, and residential communities will be encouraged to contribute the packaging that they have in segregated forms – bottles, multi-beverage carton, and bags etc.

The project will then culminate into recommendations to speed up sustainability solutions for an “optimised waste management infrastructure”.

Other companies which are part of the coalition include suppliers, packaging firms and retail firms, such as BASF, Borouge, Tetra Pak, Majid Al Futtaim, Dow, Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, McDonald’s UAE, and Emirates Nature – WWF.

“Plastics will remain an important packaging material, however, we need to ensure that used packaging of any kind does not end up in the environment. Waste management and recovery is a complex problem that requires innovative solutions and strong partnerships.

“Collaboration will be key to success and we look forward to joining forces to achieve sustainable solutions and protecting the environment for future generations.

“The development of this pilot project is not only critical to support the environment but economic objectives and together we aim to contribute to the overall wellbeing of the UAE,” ​said Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

On behalf of the coalition, Murat Ozgel, the General Manager of Coca-Cola Middle East and Deputy President of Coca-Cola Middle East and North Africa also said: “This coalition’s objectives are aligned with the UAE’s Green Agenda 2030 and the National Sustainable Consumption Plan to promote sustainable production and consumption patterns that achieve sustainable management, reduce environmental stress and support the transition to a circular economy.”

Local initiatives

Besides the MNCs, local food and beverage manufacturers have also introduced their own set of sustainability projects.

Mineral water maker Agthia earlier said that it aim for all of its packaging to be 100% eco-friendly and to achieve zero landfill waste​ by next year.

In June last year, five Waitrose supermarkets in Abu Dhabi also conducted a 12-week trial,​ where customers were required to pay AED$0.25 for each single-use plastic bags.  

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