Borouge, together with the Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company Takreer and an army of willing volunteers, have been tackling waste in the environment.
In its campaign to promote reusing and recycling plastics, Borouge, Takreer, volunteers and children from the Abu Dhabi Education Council cleaned up Yas Beach in Abu Dhabi and the ADNOC Beach in Jebel Al Dhanna near Ruwais as part of their contribution to the fifth edition of the Waste Free Environment scheme.
Advocating the principles of Reuse and Recycling, the Waste Free Environment campaign, which took place on February 28th in Ruwais and on March 5th 2017 in Abu Dhabi, aims to enhance society’s awareness about environment protection and the necessary actions that should be taken to stop irresponsible disposal of waste into the environment. Initiated by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), the clean-up drive brought together businesses and community members to share their responsibilities and contribute towards conserving our surroundings and protecting our planet.
'Proud to lead'
“Borouge is proud to lead this important clean-up campaign for the fifth year in a row and we are committed to educate the public, particularly the youth, about the dangers of littering and its impact on nature and the marine life,” said Ahmed Omar Abdulla, CEO of Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), in his speech during the launch of the campaign in Abu Dhabi.
“It’s exciting to host our largest annual community-based environmental campaign this year along with Takreer to instill the culture of collection, segregation and recycling of waste as the optimum solution for addressing litter problems in a sustainable and responsible manner. Promoting the recycling of plastic waste is an essential part of our sustainability objectives and the values on which the industry is based. Holding the Waste Free Environment campaign sequentially in the Western Region, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore further embodies our strong commitment towards protecting and preserving the environment where we live and work.”
Jasem Ali Al Sayegh, Takreer CEO, added: "Tarkeer is pleased to join Borouge in their Waste Free Environment campaign to help protect and clean the environment. We believe that the Waste Free campaign would go a long way in inculcating eco-consciousness for the society at large.
"We, in TAKREER, believe that the principal objective is to minimise generation of waste at our facility. The next important step in efficient waste management is 'segregation' followed by the three Rs, Reuse, Recycle and Recover. TAKREER firmly believes in duty of care to minimise adverse impact on the environment and exercise the principle of loss prevention. Takreer operates a state-of-the-art waste management facility 'BeAAT' at Ruwais Industrial Area with a capacity of 26,000 MT/year to treat hazardous waste generated from all ADNOC Group Companies. The generated waste is treated and disposed by following highest standards and in a most environmentally friendly manner."
People, Planet, Profit
As a leading manufacturer of plastics raw materials and a provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions to various industrial sectors, Borouge promotes through the Waste Free Environment campaign the fact that plastics is not the main reason behind litter problem, it is rather the irresponsible behaviour of some people who leave their waste behind carelessly, polluting the environment.
"In line with the UAE Vision 2021 towards diverting 75 per cent of waste away from landfills, and in line with Borouge’s social responsibility commitment, the Waste Free Environment campaign strongly supports the three pillars of sustainability: People, Planet and Profit,” said Maitha Al Marashi, CSR Advisor at Borouge.
“Highlighting the impact of litter improves the well-being of society. It dramatically increases the importance of protecting the environment and improves the overall economic development. The collection and recycling of plastic waste is one of Borouge’s key principles of sustainability and social responsibility, and through such campaigns, we call upon the local community and all environmental organisations to join efforts and encourage the public to stop littering and adopt sustainable practices of waste management to keep our environment safe and preserved."
Borouge promotes proactive actions towards addressing the litter problem which requires a collective remedy and collaboration of government and private entities. Nevertheless, plastic waste can still be found in abundance in the marine and desert environments due to the behavioural issues of some individuals.
H.E. Eisa Saif Al Qubaisi, General Manager of Tadweer (Centre of waste Management – Abu Dhabi), said: "Tadweer strives to support and take part in all the events and campaigns that aim to educate the communities on preserving the environment. The Waste Free Environment campaign seeks to raise awareness on the importance of recycling and to encourage community members to implement efficient waste management practices. This comes in line with Tadweer’s objectives to foster a conscious community and turn waste into an economic driver."
H.E. Mohammad Salem Al-Dhaheri, School Operations Executive Director of Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), stressed the importance of protecting the environment, calling it a 'huge responsibility'.
He added that ADEC seeks to spread the culture of environmental awareness, while promoting the concept of a sustainable school environment, which requires unified and joint efforts with various environmental sectors, while adopting sustainable practices in the field of waste management, thus stimulating a sense of responsibility in the overall community.
Strengthening spirit of teamwork
ADEC’s School Operations Executive Director pointed out that it is crucial to encourage students to participate in activities that contribute to raising the value of awareness on how to dispose and recycle waste properly, without resulting in an environmentally negative impact.
Al-Dhaheri further added that a Waste-Free Environment campaign is considered one of the most important initiatives that will contribute to strengthening the spirit of teamwork and mutual efforts across schools, as well as in private and public entities. The Campaign aims to achieve the desired goals in the beach clean-up Campaign, reflecting social responsibility and commitment to environmental preservation and protection.
Fozeya Al Mahmoud, Director of Environmental Outreach at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), stated: "Supporting Borouge and Takreer in organising Waste Free Environment campaign is in line with our agency’s mission to protect the environment and increase public awareness about the impact pollution can have on the Emirate’s natural habitats. Such a campaign will help us to direct the public towards positive attitudes in maintaining a clean and sound environment by practice and participation."
As much as 1.65kg/day of solid municipal waste is being generated per capita in Abu Dhabi according to the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, making it one of the highest generators of waste in the world. Research by the GPCA revealed that out of the 80 million tonnes of waste generated in the Gulf every year, plastic waste is responsible for approximately one-third, or 26 million tonnes of waste.
Recycling rates in the GCC have been estimated at less than 10 per cent of total waste.