Dubai: Ahead of World Environment Day on June 5, Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson of Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), honoured a raft of volunteers on Wednesday in Dubai who helped green the UAE through the EEG’s recycling campaign in 2016.
And Al Marashi thanked the volunteers who made last year an outstanding one by ensuring reusable materials do not end up in landfills.
“It is estimated that every 2 hours we throw out enough stuff to fill the world's largest container ship with trash. That's 12 container ships every single day, and 4,380 container ships in one year. We throw out over 50 tonnes of household waste every second. By 2030 the amount of household waste will almost double to 3000 million tons annually,” Al Marashi said.
“According to a report released by World Bank, the waste from cities alone is already enough to fill a line of trash trucks 5,000 kilometers long every day. The global cost of dealing with all that trash is rising too: from $205 billion a year in 2010 to $375 billion by 2025, with the sharpest cost increases in developing countries. “
Thanks to the EEG’s collection efforts, the non-governmental organization’s seven recycling campaigns last year for paper, cans, glass, plastic, toners, batteries and mobiles stood at an impressive 1,470,967 Kg.
When translated into long term impact, it shows that these programmes have resulted in the saving of 5736.8 MTCO2E of carbon dioxide emissions, 40908.02 Billion BTU of Energy, 8244.7 m3 of landfill space and 57,674 gallons of gasoline. The paper campaign helped to save 35,837 trees from being cut down to make paper.
The EEG chairperson explained each campaign’s successes; - Paper more than 1,341,000 Kg, Cans – 27,300 Kg, Plastic – 78,000 Kg, Glass – 10,900 Kg, Toner cartridges – 6,700 pieces, Battery – 1,500 Kg and Mobile phones – 15,800 pieces.
Al Marashi also mentioned a unique project that combines the recycling camapigns with a tree planting project where successful collectors get the opportunity to plant trees in their names at strategic location as a reward for their effort. In 2016, 462 trees were planted based on the participation of 12 schools, 24 companies and 126 individuals. Since the inception of this rallying project the total tally of trees stands at 2,094,870 and hundreds of participants have been successfully mobilised.
“Such incentives are very crucial for the success of community programmes and go a long way in driving performance among the participants of the campaigns.”
The winners of the seven campaigns were divided into three categories, - corporations, academic institutions and individuals/families. For Paper the winners were Our Own High School - Al Warqaa (Boys) among educational institutions, Akhil Puligadda among families/individuals, and UAE Exchange, Ajman among corporations. For Plastic, the winners were Our Own High School, Al Warqaa (Boys) among educational institutions, Naama Ismail Zarooni among families/individuals, and Khadamat Facilities Management among corporations. For Cans, the winners were Our Own High School - Al Warqa'a among educational institutions, Neola J. Castelino among families/individuals, and Emirates Flight Catering among corporations. For Mobiles, the winners were Our Own High School, Al Warqa (Boys) among educational institutions, Mythri Muralikannan among families/individuals, and Dubai Public Prosecution among corporations. For Toners, the winners were The Millennium School - Al Quasais among educational institutions, Nityashri Sankaran among families/individuals, and Emirates Fast Food Company (Mcdonalds - Sharjah) among corporations. For Glass, the winners were Sharjah Indian School among educational institutions, I. S. Adithiyan Rajan among families/individuals, and Gloria Hotel among corporations. For Dubai: Batteries, the winners were Brent Adriel D'Souza among families/individuals, and Khadamat Facilities Management among corporations.
Amiruddin Thanawala, President of the Ismaili Community in the UAE said : "We are particularly pleased to be able to host this event at the Ismaili Centre here in Dubai and take the opportunity to reconnect with the Chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group - Habiba Al Marashi with whom we have had a long standing acquaintance through the recycling campaign and Clean Up UAE Campaign with the Aga Khan Scouts and Guides.”