Sunday 29 January 2023

The signing ceremony

EAD signs MoU to reduce single-use plastics at COP27

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, November 10, 2022

The Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi (EAD) has signed a deal with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment of UAE (MOCCAE) and Majid Al Futtaim Retail to reduce single-use plastics and shift to reusable alternatives.
For this, EAD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the two entities during the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), currently being held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The signing was attended by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, His Excellency Eng Essa Al Hashmi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Sustainable Communities Sector and Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Green Development and Climate Change Sector at MOCCAE, Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, the Secretary General of EAD, and Bernardo Perloiro, Chief Operating Officer, GCC at Majid Al Futtaim Retail. 
Integrating sustainability
The purpose of the MoU is to enhance cooperation between the parties to further integrate sustainability in the public and private sectors, and it seeks to help conserve natural and environmental resources by encouraging the use of reusable products to address the challenge of excessive plastic waste.
The three entities share a set of guiding principles in support of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative to achieve climate neutrality in the UAE. This includes encouraging the consumption of reusable products and alternatives with a low carbon footprint, as well as conducting studies into consumer incentives when it comes to purchasing reusable products.
Through the MoU, the three organisations will enhance awareness and knowledge of the environmental impact of plastic pollution, most importantly single-use plastic bags. They will work closely to measure the impact of the initiative by monitoring the decrease in single-use plastic bag usage and the rate of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the switch to reusable alternatives.
Plastic pollution
Eng Al Hashmi said: “Approximately 7 billion of the 9.2 billion tonnes of plastics produced worldwide from 1950 to 2017 became plastic waste, ending up in landfills or dumped. Plastic pollution can alter habitats and natural processes, impairing the ability of ecosystems to adapt to climate change and directly affecting millions of people’s livelihoods, food production capabilities and social well-being.”
He added: “The UAE is committed to combating plastic pollution on all fronts. At MOCCAE, we are working together with our partners to apply an all-inclusive, sustainable and circular approach that ensures effective interventions along the full lifecycle of plastics. Building on the outstanding work of EAD and Majid Al Futtaim Retail to date, the new MoU aligns with this direction, as well as with the objectives of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) to End Plastic Pollution that the UAE joined in September 2022. The global initiative, launched in August 2022, aims to eliminate plastic pollution by 2040. We hope this example will encourage more entities to support our efforts and adopt multi-use solutions that help minimise waste and are kinder to the environment.” 
Immense success
Dr Al Dhaheri said: “Throughout decades of work at EAD we have always known that through partnerships with the government and private sector, we are able to achieve immense success in the implementation of large-scale programmes and projects. As such, this MoU with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Majid Al Futtaim Retail will contribute greatly to the reduction of single-use plastics and a shift towards reusable alternatives that are innovative and sustainable. Carrefour, was one of the first leading retailers to sign a pledge with us for the ban on single-use plastic bags, effective from June 1, and they are currently offering a wide variety of eco-friendly replacements, having already eliminated 90% single-use plastic bags.”
She added: “Our goal is keeping in mind the bigger picture of the UAE’s vision of achieving climate neutrality through the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative that was announced last year prior to COP26. We are now here at COP27 signing this agreement in alignment with our wise leadership as we all strive to conserve the environment and reduce the amount of plastic waste harming human health, our habitats and biodiversity.”
Bernardo Perloiro, Chief Operating Officer - GCC Majid Al Futtaim Retail said: “We are honoured to be representing retail at COP27 today through this partnership with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates. As part of the Majid Al Futtaim ecosystem, we set the standard for sustainable, responsible, self-sufficient business. Carrefour is at the forefront of adopting new solutions to protect the interests of our customers and the environment, having been the first retailer in the UAE to introduce reusable shopping bags back in 2007. Since then, we have pledged to eliminate single-use plastic across our operations by 2025 – driving positive change and promoting and rewarding green shopping habits.”-- TradeArabia News Service


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