Be they recycling initiatives or glass packaging, brands in the UAE are doing their bit for eco-conservation
If you find yourself parched after a sweaty HIIT class, your love of nature may make you think twice about reaching for a plastic water bottle. Grab-and-go bottles are convenient, but when you think about the tons of plastic ending up in the ocean, your lofty hydration goals start to seem a little less significant, right?
Now, you may no longer have to choose between getting those few gulps a day and saving the planet, though with several UAE bottled water brands making on-the-go water consumption healthier for the environment.
DEWA-owned Mai Dubai, for instance, started measuring its carbon footprint from just the second year of operation so that the company has something to benchmark against and improve upon year on year.
Thanks to the strong performance of Mai Dubai facility’s rooftop solar panel installations that produced more than 30 million kWh of power in 2020, while it consumed only 26 million kWh, it is now a net-zero energy consumer.
“Thanks to the strong performance of Mai Dubai facility’s rooftop solar panel installations that produced more than 30 million kWh of power in 2020, while it consumed only 26 million kWh, it is now a net-zero energy consumer,” says Alexander van‘t Riet, CEO, Mai Dubai. “This feat allows our operations, including entire bottled water production and the adjacent office, be fully powered by the sun’s energy. Our office is LEED-certified as well.”
As part of Mai Dubai activities for the Sustainability Month, the company is supporting Dgrade’s ‘Simply Bottles’ recycling initiative for schools until June 2021. “The initiative has been designed to educate, engage and empower children to contribute to sustainability by increasing recovery and recycling rates of plastic bottles in the UAE,” says van ‘t Riet.
The campaign will see Mai Dubai engage Dubai schools to raise awareness on the importance of recycling plastic water bottles, so that they can be turned into uniforms and PE kits. Clothing items created from recycled plastic bottles diverts plastic from landfills and provides a sustainable alternative to conventional clothing production. Mai Dubai and DGrade will organise sustainability drives including a competition to help incentivise schools to increase collection rates of plastic bottles for recycling.
According to a report titled, GCC Bottled Water Market Report and Forecast 2021-2026, the GCC bottled water market reached nearly 20.14 billion litres in 2020 with CAGR forecast to grow by 6 per cent for the period 2021-2026, reaching almost 28.57 billion litres in 2026.
Bottled water is the leading segment in the beverage industry in GCC, accounting for 56 per cent of the GCC beverage market. The UAE is a major player, accounting for over a fifth of the region’s bottled water factories and ranking eighth globally in per capita consumption of bottled water, consuming over 34 gallons of per capita.
Water being a precious commodity, we have introduced smaller pack sizes, providing just the right volume of water in a bottle that can be used and discarded readily.
Go eco, go glass
Local firms are also re-packaging water in glass bottles, which speaks volumes of the brands’ commitment to sustainability.
Home-grown brand Aqua de Fonte is moving in this direction while also introducing smaller pack sizes to eliminate wastage of water.
“We are highly committed to sustainability and there are various measures that have been put in place,” says Yogesh Valaulikar, Managing Director, Aqua de Fonte. “Water being a precious commodity, we have introduced smaller pack sizes, providing just the right volume of water in a bottle that can be used and discarded readily. We will also introduce new packaging solutions like glass bottles in future. In the long run, we plan to replace pet bottles with glass leading to better sustainability.”
We are up to the challenge of providing this to our valued consumers especially with the growing awareness regarding the impact our choices can make to help the environment.
Glass packaging apart from its premium look is trusted for its quality and sustainability, and it’s 100 per cent recyclable, says Selwyn Dmello, General Manager, Emirates Natural Drinking Water.
“These inherent characteristics are responsible for the continued demand for eco-friendly glass packaging,” says Dmello. “We are up to the challenge of providing this to our valued consumers especially with the growing awareness regarding the impact our choices can make to help the environment.”