The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) hosted a workshop dedicated to the Plastics manufacturing sector, as part of its Dynamics of Circularity Series, a periodic stakeholder assembly aimed at sharing knowledge, building capacities, and exploring opportunities to implement circular economy practices in priority sectors.
The session took place in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) West Asia Office and with the participation of the Coalition of Innovation in Recycling towards a Closed Loop Economy (Coalition CIRCLE).
Themed ‘Towards a Circular Plastics’, the third instalment of the series sought to promote sectoral adoption of circular economy principles through highlighting existing and potential initiatives and projects in this space and exploring the challenges and requirements of implementing circularity on a wider scope.
The workshop convened 76 stakeholders from the private sector and representatives of relevant federal and local government entities, research institutions, and academia. Members of the UAE Circular Economy Council also attended the event.
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, said,
“Circular economy is gaining momentum as the world recognises that the current linear economy, where products are made, used, and discarded, is inefficient and unsustainable. Its economic, environmental, and social benefits are clear – from optimising resource use and reducing or even eliminating waste and pollution to enhancing business sustainability, creating new jobs, and improving public health.”
“Plastics pollution has become one of the most pressing issues globally. Between 1950 and 2017, around 9.2 billion tons of plastics were produced. Of which seven billion tons turned into waste, posing a direct threat to the environment and natural habitats. Impeding circular economy in how we deal with plastics is our best solution to gradually reduce plastic pollution and mitigate its impacts with the goal of eradicating it completely.”
During the workshop, UNEP West Asia Office elaborated on its campaign to beat plastic pollution that was officially launched during the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) in Nairobi, where UN member states endorsed a historic resolution to forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024 to end plastic pollution. The resolution addresses the full lifecycle of plastic, including its production, design, and disposal.
Meanwhile, Coalition CIRCLE delivered a presentation on the volume of plastic pollution and associated environmental damage, the importance of adopting sustainable practices and circular economy principles while dealing with plastic products to achieve optimal use while eliminating their environmental side effects.
Moreover, participants listened to presentations from specialised entities, including Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), DGrade, and Dow, on their best practices in developing and implementing innovative and sustainable plastic solutions, and outlined future processes and areas of collaboration to mainstream the concept of circular economy in related sectors.
Participants engaged in an interactive discussion on five of the 22 policies that are related to plastics, approved in the last meeting of the Council. They explored the scope and elements of the policies and proposed new policies to fill in potential gaps.
In 2021, the Cabinet approved the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031 that establishes a framework for achieving sustainable management and effective use of natural resources in the country through the adoption of regenerative consumption and production methods. Following the launch of the policy, the UAE Circular Economy Council was formed. The Council is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the policy through following up on the execution of sectoral initiatives, defining key performance indicators for the progress made, and aligning federal and local government strategies with the policy requirements.
News Source: Emirates News Agency