Image Credit: WAM

The ‘Dubai Can’ drive launched by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, is aimed at making sustainability a way of life.

With the omnipresence of plastic — from shopping bags to water bottles — in our lives, we have reached a critical point where plastic trash is not only polluting the earth but choking our precious water bodies also. Close to 40 per cent of all plastic in the UAE is single-use.

While adopting to sensible measures such as using refillable water bottles and installing water filters in homes, offices and schools are no-brainers, there is also an urgent need to have an infrastructure in place that addresses the larger plastic pollution problem.

Dubai’s latest citywide sustainability movement is a great step in that direction. Designed to inspire us to make a difference through a series of sustainability-focused initiatives, known as ‘Dubai Can’, it encourages people to carry refillable water bottles, use free public water fountains across the city and cut down on plastic waste.

Leadership’s strategic plan

Part of the leadership’s strategic plan to make Dubai a leading sustainable destination, it aims to make this the best city in the world to live, work and visit. The initiative is aligned with the Dubai 2040 Urban Masterplan and the emirate’s commitment to helping the UAE achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and UAE NetZero 2050 initiative.

As part of the movement, multiple drinking water stations will be installed across Dubai to encourage residents and visitors to ‘refill for life’. The main idea is to discourage people from buying fresh plastic water bottles every time they step outside their homes.

Residents will be encouraged to fill up reusable bottles at designated locations to slake their thirst. This in turn will help cut down on pollution by encouraging individual residents to go the extra mile for the environment.

Dubai is also set to introduce a charge of 25 fils for single-use plastic bags from July 1 and it will be applied in retail and clothing stores, restaurants and pharmacies, as well as in delivery and e-commerce orders. The charge will be evaluated in stages before single-use plastic bags are banned completely in two years’ time.

It is time for all of us to do out bit now. Together ‘Dubai Can’.