UAE To Setup First Food-grade Plastic Recycling Plant

As part of creating a long-term sustainable and green economy in the UAE, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) oversaw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Repeet, BEEAH Group, and Agthia on Tuesday. This MoU will be the first step in establishing a new plastic recycling facility in the UAE.

This is part of the larger efforts of the Emirate nation to reduce its plastic waste and also to encourage trade by exporting recycled materials. The plant which is set to be constructed in Abu Dhabi will have an annual recycling capacity of 12,000 tons of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

The Plastic recycling plant will offer 100 new jobs and prevent 18,000 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions

At its complete functional capacity, the plant set up in a 40,000 square meter facility can create around a hundred jobs and prevent the emission of 18,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. 

The MoU which will be initiated by a feasibility study was signed at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed bin Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Executive Director of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators and Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

Plastic recycling plant

The new partnership has been established in light of a new ministerial decree released by the MoIAT on the regulation of the recycled plastic water bottle trade.  

According to the new regulations, plastic manufacturing companies shall use recycled plastic to make water bottles and this should be made by keeping the top public health and food safety standards. This strategy shall be embraced by all of the plastic manufacturing companies in the UAE in the coming years and a complete transition into recycle-friendly manufacturing will be possible.

This sort of circular economy that doesn’t create plastic waste will align itself with the climate goals of reducing plastic waste and controlling CO2 emissions in the environment. 

Omar Al Suwaidi, the undersecretary at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology said that collaboration is the most important factor in realizing a sustainable industry and a green economy. So the MoIAT focuses on creating productive partnerships between different companies belonging to multiple categories like global corporations, financial institutions, and national industries so that it can yield both economic growths and achieve the UAE’s Net Zero strategy.

Al Suwaidi also stressed that as part of the hosting of the COP28 conference this year in the UAE, the Ministry will make all efforts to engage with such sustainable projects that can be pulled under the national industrial strategy.

Through this strategy, more investors and firms can be called in to invest in the UAE’s industrial economy to start off an innovative economic transformation. All this will enhance the UAE’s position as a global pioneer in creating a sustainable and competitive industrial culture that inspires the global climate change agenda. 

The newly signed MoU charts out a plan under which Repeet is responsible for the plant operation, BEEAH group will supply the plastic stock necessary for recycling and Agthia guarantees a seven-year purchase of the finished plastic products. With the assistance of the Ministry, the PET bottle recycling project is at a stage to invite more partnerships that can elevate it to a higher level of industrial sustainability and circular economy. 

Khalid Al Huraimel, Group CEO of the BEEAH Group said that their organization is completely committed to the sustainability efforts of the UAE administration. They will be developing and implementing various sustainable solutions under this strategy that would assist in designing a circular economy producing zero wastage. He also noted that the current MoU is a great chance for the team at BEEAH to work in collaboration with other renowned companies in realizing the vision of the wise leadership of the UAE. 

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Adding to the sustainability projects of the UAE was the launch of a B2B trading platform for recycled plastics started by Rebound, a subsidiary of the UAE’s International Holding Company. The initiative is known as the Rebound Plastic Exchange (RPX) and they will run particular trading sheets that will be endorsed under RECOUP, an industry membership association. These sheets will be created specifically for the listings found in the marketplace so that it ensures transparency and promotes cross-border trade. 

Plastic pollution is one of the major roadblocks to creating a green and sustainable environment. These are not just limited to landfills but are also found in large quantities in the oceans as well which causes damage to aquatic life and its ecosystem.

The plastic regulation strategies initiated by nations like the UAE can control and reverse these damages to a great extent without having to compromise on development policies. The recycled plastic market is expected to create exponential growth in the coming decade and by 2025, the market value of recycled materials is projected to reach $46 billion.         

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