The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) collected aluminium cans weighing a total of 16,150kg for recycling this year, the organisation announced on Saturday.
EEG’s announcement coincided with its Can Collection Drive, which took place at locations across the seven emirates. A total of 300 government agencies, hotels, schools, companies and families took part in this year’s event, happening for the 15th year in succession.
However, despite a successful drive, the total number of cans gathered last year was down by 20 per cent than the earlier years.
EEG Chairperson Habiba Al Marashi said: “EEG has been conducting this campaign for the last 15 years to educate the public that emptied cans are not waste material but valuable raw materials that must be diverted from landfills. Action days such as this one can only be described as an amalgamation of environmentalism and volunteerism in the people of the country. It is during events such as this that we truly see the spirit of the UAE come together for the singular cause of environmental protection.” Ali Ibrahim, EEG Executive Committee Member, who was present at the collection drive near the Department of Immigration in Al Jafiliya, said: “Extracting aluminium from its raw material, bauxite ore, is highly energy-intensive. But recycling an aluminium can saves 95 per cent of the energy required to derive it from its virgin material.”
Despite the positive turnout for this year’s collection drive, Al Marashi stressed that more can be done when it comes to recycling. She emphasised the problems with decreasing landfill and increase in the emission of greenhouse gas.
“Since 1997, EEG has collected a total of 158,051kg of aluminium cans, resulting in the mitigation of around 2,370 MTe CO2, which has saved an estimated energy of 10,535 MWh.”
Al Marashi also wants to see the UAE improve its recycling rate when it comes to aluminium cans. More than 500 million canned beverages are consumed in the country every year, but only five per cent are recycled, compared to a worldwide average of 63 per cent.
“We need to rally more support from various sectors of our society to instill the culture of recycling among the majority of our residents. However, the change that is required has begun.”