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‘Dubai Can’: A sustainability initiative

Inspires people to make a difference to the environment

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The Executive Council of Dubai has launched ‘Dubai Can’, a citywide sustainability movement designed to inspire people to make a difference through a series of sustainability-focused initiatives.

The initiative, which will be implemented by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, will encourage UAE residents to turn the tide on plastic and inspire mass action to actively reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles.

‘Dubai Can’ seeks to motivate communities across the city to undertake simple changes such as using refillable water bottles and public water stations and installing water filters in their homes, offices, and schools.

The initiative is one of the innovative ideas to create a new green economy that will offer the world a unique model for sustainable development. The objective is to inspire current and future generations to play their part in protecting the environment and conserving natural resources.

A typical resident of the UAE uses 450 plastic water bottles on average in a year, which translates into a total of 4 billion plastic bottles being used annually in the country. A single plastic bottle requires 400 years to decompose naturally, posing risks to environmental sustainability. Plastic waste is responsible for the deaths of 1.1 million marine creatures globally.

The initiative is in line with the Dubai 2040 Urban Masterplan and also supports Dubai’s commitment to meeting the UAE’s UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and achieving the UAE NetZero 2050 initiative.

‘Dubai Can’ complements the recent policy to limit single-use plastic bags. A tariff of AED 0.25 will be imposed on single-use bags starting 1 July 2022.

According to Emirates Nature WWF1, the average person in the UAE consumes 94 kg of plastic per year, of which a significant amount comprises single-use bottles. The ‘Dubai Can’ initiative will help lay the groundwork for positive change and support sustainable communities for generations to come.

Residents and visitors to Dubai will have access to more than 30 water stations across the city as part of this initiative, with prime public locations including beaches, parks, malls, and major attractions. The drinking water from the stations will be kept cool at a temperature of 10°C and drive a ‘refill culture’.

All water stations across the city will provide the highest standards of hygiene and maintain strict adherence to municipal, healthcare, and federal regulations. This includes providing clean and safe drinking water, which will be tested in accordance with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), GCC, and World Health Organization (WHO) standards.