Dubai: The Ministry of Water and Environment is to launch an initiative in early 2009 to reduce the production and use of plastic bags in the UAE.
Minister Dr Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahd announced the decision while commending Gulf News on its initiative to distribute free jute bags to all its individual subscribers, marking the newspaper's 30th anniversary. The distribution drive starts on Friday and continues for more than a week.
It is part of the newspaper's ongoing Go Green campaign that has worked to raise awareness about environment issues, promote best practices and offer people information about the eco-friendly lifestyle choices they can make.
The newspaper started its drive by focusing on the need to reduce plastic bag usage. Dr Bin Fahd said: "We ... appreciate the initiative of the UAE's leading newspaper, Gulf News, to distribute free jute bags to its dedicated readers. It is a sign of the newspaper's commitment to the environment and society."
He said this is a clear indication that true change can be achieved when organisations and media houses realise their social responsibilities and make an effort to address concerns that impact the community and nation.
He called upon the media, manufacturers and the people to help ensure that the Ministry's initiative is a success.
He said: "Gulf News's Go Green campaign is part of this commendable effort and we appeal to other private organisations and media to follow suit as part of their social responsibility."
Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of Gulf News, said: "Gulf News over the past 30 years has regularly supported and sponsored activities and events ... that matter to people and society.
"It has become part of our philosophy ... the way we function. The distribution of jute bags is yet another expression of this promise that we do not merely convey in words but in deeds too."