The Sustainable City, the Middle East’s first fully operational sustainable community, has announced its plan to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic within the community by 90 percent as early as next year.
The Sustainable City’s phase-out of single-use plastic – a significant environmental polluter with a lasting ecological footprint – will target plastic bags, straws, balloons, cutlery, soda and water bottles, and food packaging.
Faris Saeed, CEO of Diamond Developers, the City’s developers, said, “While plastic is integral to lives, people often tend to forget that plastic pollution is also one of the most damaging to our ecosystem. The Sustainable City’s goal to reduce single-use plastic consumption by 90 percent by 2020 underlines our commitment to promoting a sustainable environment and reducing our ecological footprint to secure a greener and cleaner nature for future generations.”
“By involving all our community members, this initiative supports the global efforts to combat climate change, the green vision of the UAE, and the Dubai Plan 2021, and will help avoid plastic waste pollution by inspiring behavioural change,” he added.
The Sustainable City has already taken significant steps to reduce single-use plastic. The use of SUP is banned in the offices of Diamond Developers and The Sustainable City Visitor Centre, and the company has tasked its research division, SEE Institute, to assist the commercial outlets in the phase-out by refusing and replacing the most prevalent SUPs.
As part of the roadmap, the first milestone is to achieve the reduction in the use of SUPs by 50 percent in the coming three months (by September 1st, 2019). This will accelerate the journey towards achieving the goal of 90 percent reduction in SUP usage by January 1st, 2020.
To support the community towards SUP phase-out, water fountains will be set up by The Sustainable City in common areas and the gym – which will eliminate the use of plastic water bottles and single-use cups. All restaurants will be requested to offer filtered water to their guests and remove plastic bottled water from their menus with some already commencing it.
Several community initiatives have been promoting awareness and engagement in SUP usage reduction. Among these is the Boomerang Bags project. Run by residents, the project produces shopping bags from used fabric, and encourages residents to stop using plastic shopping bags in favour of fabric bags. The local laundry shop encourages its customers to bring and collect their laundry in reusable suit bags to avoid plastic dry cleaning bags. A detailed waste audit of the development is underway by The Sustainable City to assess the community’s waste profile and implement the most effective waste management plan. In 2018, the community had diverted 84 per cent of its waste from landfills, highlighting its success in promoting a sustainable living environment.