The Emirates Environmental Group conducted a Can Collection Drive today in each of the seven Emirates and saw the active participation of government departments, educational institutions, private organizations as well as individuals and families.
“EEG has been conducting this campaign for the last 15 years to educate the public that emptied cans are not waste materials but valuable raw materials that must be diverted from landfills. Action days such as this one can only be described as an amalgamation of environmentalism and volunteerism in the people of the country. It is during events such as this that we truly see the spirit of the UAE come together for the singular cause of environmental protection,” said EEG Chairperson Habiba Al Marashi.
This year, EEG was successful in collecting and depositing for recycling a total of 16,150 kg of Aluminum Cans which, however, showed a 20% decrease as compared to last year’s collection.
“We need to rally more support from various sectors of our society to instill the culture of recycling among the majority of our residents. However, the change that is required has begun,” she added.
It has always been one of EEG's goals to capacitate the community on the value of waste management and waste segregation and we see that becoming a reality today,” added Ms. Sara Baker EEG-Executive Committee Member.
“Extracting Aluminium from its raw material bauxite ore is highly energy-intensive but recycling an Aluminium Can saves 95 per cent of the energy required to derive it from its virgin material,” explained Mr. Ali Ibrahim EEG-Executive Committee Member.
The EEG Chairperson Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi noted that another important aspect of recycling is to save the decreasing landfill space and to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas. She also emphasized the environmental benefits of recycling Aluminum Cans.
Since 1997, EEG has collected a total of 158,051 kg of Aluminium Cans, resulting in the mitigation of around 2,370 MTe CO2, which has saved an estimated energy of 10,535 MWh.
Mrs. Al Marashi, however, does realize that the UAE still has a long way to catch up when it comes to recycling. She noted that every year, more than 500 million canned beverages are consumed in the country but only about five per cent of these are sent for recycling as compared to a world-wide average of 63 per cent.
The Can Collection Drive is also successful in providing students with a platform to showcase their environmental efforts and engage their families, neighborhoods and hotels to collect Cans for recycling. This brings about a sense of awareness in the society about the detriments of throwing Aluminum Cans away.
An added incentive for participants of the Drive is that the top collectors in the Can Collection Campaign, along with sponsors, supporters and volunteers, will be awarded during EEG's Annual Prize Giving Ceremony on 5th June, in celebration of World Environment Day.
The 2012 Can Collection Drive was held in association with the Fujairah Municipality, RAK Free Trade Zone and Ajman Free Zone Authority. The main sponsor of the Drive is the Al Safi Club for Friends of the Environment with Emirates NBD as support sponsor. It is also supported by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai, American International School-Abu Dhabi, Al Ain English Speaking School, Al Futtaim Carillion, McDonald's, Radisson Blu-Sharjah, Branches of Sharjah Ladies Club, Abela & Co., ETA Zenath, and Zajel as courier partner. Gulf News and 7Days are the media sponsors.
Responding to the environmental challenge, Mr. Mohammed Kandil of Al Safi Danone said, “we are strongly committed to help EEG in its various environmental initiatives and we will pursue to educate and encourage more people to reduce, re-use and recycle waste materials.”
“Sharing the obligation of protecting and preserving our environment is an expression of our corporate social responsibility and a realization of our principle of environmental stewardship,” added Mr. Rick Pudner Group CEO of Emirates NBD.