DXB goes plastic-free
With great power comes great responsibility. Spider-Man’s proverb might equally apply to the role of airports (and other industry stakeholders) in ensuring a sustainable future.
Dubai Airports certainly agrees – and has detailed how its plans to ban all single-use plastics across Dubai International (DXB) and Al Maktoum International Airport by 1 January [the company first announced its intention to introduce the ban earlier this year].
“With 90 million passengers passing through Dubai’s two airports every year, consuming tens of thousands of plastic items from straws to water bottles to coffee lids daily, the plastic-free initiative has presented some serious challenges for those involved,” Dubai Airports noted.
The airport company is working with more than 250 of its concession and hospitality partners to fulfil the promise, according to Dubai Airports Executive Vice President Commercial Eugene Barry. “This pledge is another step on a long journey to becoming a more environmentally responsible airport,” he said. “Along with our partners, including global brands such as McDonald’s, Costa Coffee and Starbucks, we are committed to not only removing single-use plastics but in their place providing appropriate and importantly sustainable alternatives.”
Dubai Airports on a vital initiative to reduce single-use plastics and how it will resonate with travellers
The phased approach will see plastic cutlery, drinking straws, take-away food packaging and polythene bags removed from cafés, restaurants and shops at the world’s busiest international airport from 1 January. During the next 12 months additional products will be replaced both in customer spaces and behind the scenes.
“Among the challenges faced, the biggest is sourcing alternatives for plastic bottles, one of the most frequently used and discarded pieces of single-use plastics. As we work to reduce and ultimately eliminate plastics from our airports, we are increasing our recycling facilities in the customer spaces and a new partnership that will allow us to properly dispose of thousands of tonnes of single-use plastic, each year,” said Barry.
The additional recycling points will also support the management of the tens of thousands of bottles and waste brought in to the airport daily, something Dubai Airports’ expects will also decrease as people become more conscious of their usage.
In next steps, through 2020, significantly more single-use plastic products will be replaced throughout the two airports by concession and hospitality partners.
It may not be as dramatic a way to save the world as a typical Spider-Man adventure, but it is still a vital measure that impacts the planet’s future.
Full speed ahead: The changes are being introduced by partners across both Dubai airports from 1 January