- Ban on single-use plastics at DXB, world’s busiest international airport, to begin on January 1, 2020
- Research carried out by the airport operator shows only 5% of travellers from the UAE manage to completely avoid plastic
- Coffee giant Costa backs initiative by launching new fully-sustainable coffee cup
- McDonald’s is replacing a total of 5,608,740 items with recyclable materials at Dubai’s two airports DXB and DWC
Dubai: Two Dubai airports will go single-use plastic-free from January 1 2020. Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) will be free of single-use plastics from the start of the New Year, in a bid to manage environmental impact.
A pledge to this effect was undertaken in June 2019 and ever since the Dubai airports have been working with more than 250 of its concession and hospitality partners to be able to put to effect it’s ‘plastic-free’ pledge.
Over 90 million passengers pass through Dubai Airports
According to latest numbers, over 90 million passengers are passing through Dubai’s two airports – DXB and DWC – every year. Needless to say, they consume tens of thousands of plastic items from straws to water bottles to coffee lids daily, so the plastic-free initiative presented some serious challenges for those involved.
In a statement Dubai Airports – which manages the operation and development of both of Dubai’s airports – DXB and DWC - said the process will involve a phased approach which will see plastic cutlery, drinking straws, take-away food packaging and polythene bags removed from cafés, restaurants and shops from January 1, 2020. Through the year, other plastic products in customer spaces will be replaced.
Notable among them is fast food powerhouse, McDonald’s who will be replacing a total of 5,608,740 items with recyclable materials at Dubai’s two airports DXB and DWC.
Committing to no plastic
Also, Costa Coffee which has committed to replacing its plastic-lined cups with a 100% renewable, plant-based “smart” cup. The coffee giant uses over 2.6 million cups a year in Dubai’s airports alone, so a significant impact will be made. This will be shortly by the introduction of a coffee cup lid made entirely from wood and paper fibre instead of single-use plastic.
Eugene Barry, EVP Commercial at Dubai Airports said: "Costa Coffee will be replacing plastic cutlery with avocado seed cutlery. Costa Coffee has already removed 1million plastic straws from its business and has replaced it with a more sustainable alternative. Costa has also committed to replacing its plastic-lined cups with a 100% renewable, plant-based “smart” cup. The coffee giant uses over 2.6 million cups a year in Dubai’s airports alone, so a significant impact will be made. This will be shortly by the introduction of a coffee cup lid made entirely from wood and paper fibre instead of single-use plastic."
“This pledge is another step on a long journey to becoming a more environmentally responsible airport. Along with our partners, including global brands such as McDonalds, Costa Coffee and Starbucks, we are committed to not only removing single-use plastics but in their place providing appropriate and importantly sustainable alternatives.”
“Among the challenges faced, the biggest is sourcing alternatives for plastic bottles, one of the most frequently used and discarded pieces of single-use plastics. As we work to reduce and ultimately eliminate plastics from our airports, we are increasing our recycling facilities in the customer spaces and a new partnership that will allow us to properly dispose of thousands of tonnes of single-use plastic, each year,” Barry continued.
Prior to embarking on this special journey, Dubai Airports conducted a specially commissioned survey into the recycling habits of travellers.
Some interesting take-aways from the survey shared by Dubai Airports revealed:
Over half (52%) of respondents claim to carry a reusable water bottle while travelling.
49% choose to dine in an airport restaurant to avoid plastic packaging that comes with take-out food options.
Almost a third (32%) of respondents refuse to buy items at the airport containing non-recyclable materials.
92% of respondents state that airports should be more vocal about what steps they are taking to recycle waste.
Did you know?
DXB is the world’s number one airport in terms of international passenger traffic and number three globally in terms of total passenger traffic as reported by Airports Council International.
More than 65 passenger carriers connect DXB to 220 airports in 215 cities across 95 countries.