Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) successfully concluded the 25th Cycle of the ‘Can Collection Drive (CCD)’ on Saturday, 6th of November 2021. As a leading environmental non-government organisation in the MENA Region, EEG has once again rallied the nation towards the cause of recycling. Hundreds of people of all age groups including Academic and Government Institutions, Hospitality, Industry Establishments, Private Organisations and Families came together to deposit Aluminium Cans for recycling. With their dedication and combined efforts, EEG managed to collect 5,629 kg of Aluminium Cans and sent them to local factories for recycling, thus diverting this easily recyclable commodity away from the landfills.

Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Chairperson of EEG expressed her gratitude to the participants who took time off from their weekend to participate in the 25th Jubilee celebration of the campaign. “I am always overjoyed to see the residents of UAE coming together to contribute to the grass root movements of environmental sustainability. When we started the campaign twenty-five years ago, not many people in the country were aware of terms such as recycling or sustainability. Less than 100 individuals participated in the campaign, but now quarter of a century later, the Can Collection Campaign witnessed participation of more than 200 Companies, over 50 Schools and over 100 families. When we calculate the number of employees, students, and family members, one can easily deduce that thousands of individuals from all backgrounds of the society are educated on the importance of environmental sustainability through such campaigns. To cultivate this moral habit of recycling amongst the residents of this country, with action-oriented programmes is in itself a great privilege.”

Ever since the initiation of the Can Collection Campaign in 1997, which was EEG’s 1st community based annual recycling programme, EEG has collected a total of 351,150 kg of Aluminium Cans for recycling, which directly helped to mitigate 5,271Metric Tonnes CO2e from the atmosphere, save 8,524 m3 of landfill space and conserve 79,917 million BTU of energy.
The Can Collection Campaign is one of the best examples of how local communities can participate and contribute effectively to achieving the national and international sustainability targets. Mrs. Al Mar’ashi further articulated: “Currently world leaders are assembled at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) at Glasgow, discussing the possibilities of achieving net zero emission by 2030, 2050, 2070 etc. While it is a grand promise by the world leaders, it will be very difficult for them to achieve the goals, if the people of the world do not change their ways of living and improve their environmental literacy. Only through such vigorous, hands on action programmes that involve all members of societies, can we actually cultivate their thought process into actions that foster sustainable change across generations. Only then can such sustainable efforts across the globe cumulate the sustainable deeds of many and culminate to fulfil the envisioned promise by leaders”.

The brilliant execution of the 25th CCD was only possible with the help of committed volunteers and supporters. Mrs. Mar’ashi thanked Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) for once again coming on board as Co-Sponsors for the year 2021. Other support entities that were involved including logistical supporters were – Abela & Co, Al Futtaim Constructions L.L.C, McDonald’s UAE and Tristar. EEG is also grateful for Lucky Recycling to continue their support to this programme by coming on board as the official Recycling Partner. Furthermore, EEG thanks Gulf News, Al Murad Group, Al Rabia 107.8 FM, Channel 4, Gold 4 and Radio 4 for coming on board as Media Partners and helping to spread the word across the country. Finally, EEG appreciated the incredible support given by Dubai Municipality, Dubai Tourism and RAK Ceramics by providing the right venues for all the participants to assemble and rally towards the goal of sustainable development. Mrs. Al Mar’ashi stated that “Collaboration and cooperation are the best ways to ensure swift and steady progress to achieve our collective goals. I am thankful to all the supporters and volunteers who helped make the campaign a resounding success.”

As a member of UNGC, IUCN, GPML and with accreditation from UNEP and UNCCD, EEG always works with various UN bodies on the ground to achieve their sustainable goals. With effectively conducting the campaign in person, EEG and the participants of the campaign contributed to achieving several UN SDG’s including Goal No. 11, which calls for sustainable cities and societies, Goal No. 12 which calls for Responsible Consumption and Production and Goal No. 13 which calls for Action to deal with Climate, Goal No. 15 which calls for protecting life on land and Goal No. 17 which calls for Building partnerships for the Goals.

On the occasion of the silver jubilee of the campaign, Mrs. Al Mar’ashi stated that: “This year, UAE is geared to celebrate 50th year of its formation, the golden jubilee of milestones. The United Nations Environment Programme is envisioning its historical progress next year at its 50th year anniversary. Milestones are markers which allow one to stop and admire all the achievements and learn lessons. At the 25th cycle of this campaign, when I pause and look at its history, I see all the entities that have participated, sponsored and supported EEG to make this campaign one of the sustainability landmarks. I see the immense level of resourcefulness, commitment and loyalty of the people that call UAE home. I see the potential of societies, striving to achieve greatness by making this world greener and more sustainable. The enthusiasm on the faces of students, educators, workers, families and other members of the society, people of all ages. The simple act of uniting for a beautiful cause and helping to keep the environment as pristine as possible is an action one can take to heart and be proud of. This is proof that we as a species can persevere, rectify the past mistakes and strive for a sustainable future. Let us all work together to ensure that we are able to contribute and reach every milestone towards a sustainable environment.”