Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall is partnering with leading environmental organisations to raise awareness about the devastating impact of plastic pollution. Together with the Emirates Wildlife Society, World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF) and the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), Yas Mall will launch a ‘Rethink Plastic’ campaign offering visitors the opportunity to exchange plastic bags for eco-friendly shopping bags and make a visible commitment to reduce plastic waste by signing a pledge wall.
Plastic bags only serve their purpose for an average of 30 minutes before they are thrown away. This leads to huge amounts of plastic waste ending up in nature every year. Global studies indicate plastic waste causes death of over 100,000 marine animals and 1 million marine birds every year. According to Tadweer – The Center of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi, 19% of the emirate’s waste is plastic blown by the wind into beach, desert and forest environments.
Yas Mall, EWS-WWF and EAD’s ‘Rethink Plastic’ campaign, which will run from September 12-15, aims to increase awareness of the harmful effects of plastic pollution, the consequences of throwing away plastic bags and how households can change the growing problem of unnecessary waste.
Commenting on the campaign, Shatha Al Romaithy, director of marketing at Yas Mall, says, “Overall, more than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year, which is equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic every minute. We feel it is our duty to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment in which we operate which is why we are pleased to partner with EWS-WWF and the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi to launch the ‘Rethink Plastic’ campaign. We hope that by providing complimentary recyclable canvas shopping bags for visitors to the mall, we can contribute to the reduction of plastic waste and the long-term sustainability of our environment.”
To try and encourage repeated use, Yas Mall has partnered with social media personalities Ola Al Fares and Bin Baz, to create stylish and practical canvas bags. Visitors to the mall can bring used plastic bags to Yas Mall’s Town Square and trade them in for a more sustainable replacement bag. With the choice of several stunning designs, customers can use the canvas bag countless times, eradicating the need for single use plastic bags. To make a visible commitment to this worthwhile cause, Yas Mall will also ask that shoppers make a pledge on the pledge wall and make a commitment to how they will continue to re-think plastic.
As part of its commitment to the environment and to sustainability, Yas Mall has introduced a series of eco-friendly initiatives over the year including bio-degradable gift cards. Last year, Yas Mall also launched a Green Tenant Award, which seeks to educate its retailers efficient waste management and reward the most environmentally friendly outlets.