UAE Foreign Minister backs bag-banning campaign

Camel deaths due to bag-ingestion prompt clean up desert campaign

EAD says around 50% of camel deaths in the UAE are caused by plastic bag ingestion. Photo: Shutterstock.
EAD says around 50% of camel deaths in the UAE are caused by plastic bag ingestion. Photo: Shutterstock.

RELATED ARTICLES: Abu Dhabi sets up $19m plastics recycling facility | Green Sheikh campaigns for environmental awareness | Pictures: Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre

UAE Foreign Minister, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nayhan, is urging people to be aware of plastic bags polluting the deserts and killing camels as a result.

Shaikh Abdullah expressed his desire to participate in a desert clean-up campaign, following the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi's report that around 50% of camel deaths in the UAE each year are attributed to plastic bags, primarily coming from tourism related activities.

According to the Centre for Waste Management — Abu Dhabi, plastic makes up 19% of domestic waste in Abu Dhabi city. Plastic bags are light in weight so can be carried easily by the wing into forests, deserts and beaches. Animals often mistakenly swallow them for food and plastic bags choke sewers, contaminate soil and waterways and enter the food chain.

The EAD, UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) and the Centre of Waste Management launched the ‘Make UAE Plastic Bag Free' campaign which urges consumers to switch to biodegradable plastic bags, and supports manufacturers and retailers in making this switch.

This February, EAD will mark National Environment Day by taking this campaign to even more key malls around the emirate. New partners will include Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and the Family Development Foundation.  Abu Dhabi Cooperative, Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, Spinneys and Abela will be among those continuing to support the campaign.

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