Ali Darwish Al Zaabi
Ali Darwish Al Zaabi has been recognised for his volunteer work by a number of entities Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Emirati volunteer Ali Darwish Al Zaabi said he has collected more than 5 million bottles caps from Sharjah and other emirates since 2020 to help preserve the UAE's environment and beauty.

Al Zaabi, who has been volunteering for more than 30 years, told Gulf News the caps range in 13 colours. Many caps have been given to him by others after his passion for collecting bottle caps became known on social media following an Instagram post of his.

“Millions of plastic bottles are sold and opened every day and many of the bottle caps end up in our sea and on our beaches. Marine mammals, birds and fish see plastic bottle caps as food, which can lead to ingestion and potentially fatal consequences,” Al Zaabi said.

He counted the bottle caps and packed them in boxes, with each box having a capacity of 40,000 bottles caps. He has kept as many as 130,000 boxes in a store. Also, he has number of bags with a capacity of 80,000 bottle caps.

The caps range in 13 different colours Image Credit: Supplied

Al Zaabi has collected bottles caps in cooperation with teachers’ associations, schools, and other institutions. He aims to recycles plastic materials to preserve the environment and help save animals.

In addition to his collection of bottles caps, Al Zaabi said he has collected 19,286kg of paper and 4,088kg of plastic materials in two months and handed them to Emirates Environmental Group and Be’aah environment firm for recycling. Both organisations have honoured him for his contribution.

All in the family

Al Zaabi started his volunteer work in 1992. His family – including his five children Abdul Rahman, 22; Jamela, 18; Afraa, 16; Mazna, 14; and Sultan, 12; joined him in volunteer work in 2009. Their volunteer work as a family has been honoured over four years.

NAT EMIRATI 12-1647176552312
The Al Zaabi family as a whole has also be recognised for environmental work Image Credit: Supplied

Al Zaabi thanked his team who have supported him and helped him in his volunteer work, including his brothers Nasser and Ahmad, in addition to residents (expats and citizens) in the UAE.

Al Zaabi is also an active member of a Sharjah volunteer group and was among the volunteers in the UAE who offered their help in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Al Zaabi said: “I love to help everyone who needs help and see the smile on their faces. I am not looking for fame or profit, I volunteer with excitement and positivity.”