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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

1.6 tonnes of rubbish cleared from wetland sanctuary in Dubai

More than 300 volunteers combed over 4km of coastline at the weekend, collecting anything from rope and polystyrene to shoes and bottles

Some 1.6 tonnes of rubbish were cleared from a wetland in Dubai that was recently declared an area of international importance.

The clean-up of Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary was organised by Dubai Municipality’s Environment Department during the Ocean Conservancy’s 33rd International Coastal Clean-up.

More than 300 volunteers combed over 4km of coastline at the weekend, collecting anything from rope and polystyrene to shoes and bottles.

About 80 per cent of the collected waste comprised materials made of plastic while volunteer scuba divers collected around 60kg of plastic and glass bottles.

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Read more:

Dubai’s Jebel Ali recognised as a wetland of global importance

Half of UAE residents want disposable coffee cups and plastic bags banned, survey shows

New strategy to be developed to protect UAE wetlands

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Alia Al Harmoudi, director of Environment Department at the municipality, said a solution must be found to decrease the use of plastic that inevitably ends up in the world’s oceans.

“Plastic waste is a critical issue and there is a need to find solutions to stem the tide of ocean plastic, including investing in waste management and its safe disposal, reducing single-use plastics, and re-evaluating how we consume plastic products,” said Ms Al Harmoudi.

“One way to curb this issue is by initiating clean ups in our beaches.”

Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary was declared as a protected area in 1998. Last month it was designated a globally significant conservation site by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Near Ras Ghantoot, the wetland is home to more than 500 marine species, including the endangered mottled eagle ray, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, the Dugong and Hawksbill sea turtle.