EAD has launched 'Mission to Zero' to set a long-term aspirational goal of zero plastic, zero waste, zero emissions and zero harm to biodiversity. Image Credit: Agency

Abu Dhabi: The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has launched an intensive SMS campaign that is designed to encourage the Abu Dhabi community to become more conscious about the hazards of single-use plastic, and to encourage a culture of recycling.

The SMS messages will target supermarkets, grocery stores, catering companies that provide food services to labour camps, labourers, as well as residents. They will be sent in multiple languages covering Arabic, English, Hindi and Urdu.

Single-use Plastic Policy

The SMS messages are designed to raise awareness about EAD’s Single-use Plastic Policy, which was launched in March 2020, and encourage individuals to join the Mission to Zero campaign that focuses a switch to sustainable alternatives.

Those receiving the messages will be directed to EAD’s web pages that are dedicated to the policy, and users will also be able to access educational toolkits. The SMS campaign will also provide tips on how to eliminate single use products and encourage the community to return bottles for recycling purposes.

“SMS marketing is great way to increase awareness, and by implementing effective SMS messaging to mobile devices, we can attract and engage with consumers. In general, users check their text messages multiple times a day, therefore our cause can be conveyed heavily through consistent messaging,” said Ahmed Baharoon, executive director of environment information and science outreach management at the EAD.

“Personal, consistent, and reliable messages are also known to foster trust and loyalty. When people are loyal and engaged with an idea, they are more likely to recommend it to others, thus expanding awareness for the cause. This is our goal with our SMS campaign which is dedicated to enlightening the community about the benefits of switching from single-use plastic to reusable alternatives. We will be sending an SMS every two weeks and there will be a total of over two million messages for the public, spanning a period of two months,” he added.

Mission to Zero

EAD launched Mission to Zero to set a long-term aspirational goal of zero plastic, zero waste, zero emissions and zero harm to biodiversity. As part of the campaign, EAD had a dedicated stand at the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX), and dispersed Big Zero installations across Abu Dhabi for people to dispose of their plastic bottles and had advertisements on bridges and buses.