Abu Dhabi aims for 20 million fewer plastic bottles in 2023

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The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has launched a new bottle return scheme to hit an ambitious target of collecting 20 million single-use plastic bottles a year for recycling.

This is through installing 70 Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) and 26 Smart Bins in areas with high footfall in the emirate of Abu Dhabi such as the Corniche, Abu Dhabi Airport, sports venues, and malls, as well as academic institutions.

The new bottle return scheme was initiated under EAD’s Mission to Zero public outreach campaign.

The campaign, which was launched last year as part of the Single-Use Plastic Policy, aspires for the target of zero plastic, zero waste, zero emissions and zero harm to biodiversity.

EAD organised a launch event attended by Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of EAD, and a number of key stakeholders in this ambitious initiative. 

Her Excellency said, “These innovative RVM machines and Smart Bins will allow the community to place their single-use plastic bottles and aluminium cans for recycling and receive rewards for doing so. We have ensured that they are well located so that they are accessible, minimising the efforts for consumers to find them.”

She added that that ease of use is vital to encourage consumer behavior changes, and nurturing a love for recycling in Abu Dhabi's residents is key in building a sustainable circular system.

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