Dubai Airports sets out ambitious plans to cut single-use plastics from next month

UAE. Dubai Airports has set out its plans to ban all single-use plastics across Dubai International (DXB) and Al Maktoum International Airport, first announced earlier this year. The airport company is working with more than 250 of its concession and hospitality partners to fulfil the promise by 1 January.

Dubai Airports noted: “With 90 million passengers passing through Dubai’s two airports every year, consuming tens of thousands of plastic items from straws to water bottles to coffee lids daily, the plastic-free initiative has presented some serious challenges for those involved.”

Dubai Airports on a vital initiative to reduce single-use plastics and how it will resonate with travellers

Dubai Airports Executive Vice President Commercial Eugene Barry said: “This pledge is another step on a long journey to becoming a more environmentally responsible airport. Along with our partners, including global brands such as McDonald’s, Costa Coffee and Starbucks, we are committed to not only removing single-use plastics but in their place providing appropriate and importantly sustainable alternatives.”

The phased approach will see plastic cutlery, drinking straws, take-away food packaging and polythene bags removed from cafés, restaurants and shops at the world’s busiest international airport from 1 January. During the next 12 months additional products will be replaced both in customer spaces and behind the scenes.

“Among the challenges faced, the biggest is sourcing alternatives for plastic bottles, one of the most frequently used and discarded pieces of single-use plastics. As we work to reduce and ultimately eliminate plastics from our airports, we are increasing our recycling facilities in the customer spaces and a new partnership that will allow us to properly dispose of thousands of tonnes of single-use plastic, each year,” said Barry.

The additional recycling points will also support the management of the tens of thousands of bottles and waste brought in to the airport daily, something Dubai Airports’ expects will also decrease as people become more conscious of their usage. Results from a specially commissioned survey into the recycling habits of travellers showed an increased awareness, both around personal usage of plastic products and recycling, at home and while travelling.

  • In the UAE, over half (52%) of respondents claim to carry a reusable water bottle while travelling.
  • 49% would choose to dine in an airport restaurant to avoid plastic packaging that comes with take-out food options.
  • Almost a third (32%) of respondents refuse to buy items at the airport containing non-recyclable materials.
  • 92% of respondents state that airports should be more vocal about what steps they are taking to recycle waste.

In next steps, through 2020, significantly more single-use plastic products will be replaced throughout the two airports by concession and hospitality partners.

Among them, McDonald’s will be replacing a total of 5,608,740 items with recyclable materials at Dubai’s two airports.

Costa Coffee has committed to replacing its plastic-lined cups with a 100% renewable, plant-based “smart” cup. The coffee brand uses over 2.6 million cups a year in Dubai’s airports alone, meaning a significant impact will be made. This will be followed by the introduction of a coffee cup lid made entirely from wood and paper fibre instead of single-use plastic.

Read the full article at The Moodie Davitt Report

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