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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Yas Mall replaces 20,000 plastic bags to boost war on waste

Shoppers are being encouraged to to reduce plastic waste

Yas Mall is handing thousands of plastic bags to help reduce plastic waste. 
Yas Mall is handing thousands of plastic bags to help reduce plastic waste. 

Abu Dhabi's biggest mall is waging war on waste - after replacing 20,000 bags with reusable alternatives for an eco-friendly initiative.

Yas Mall has joined forces with the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and Emirates Nature-WWF to highlight the deadly impact of plastic pollution on wildlife and the environment.

As part of its Rethink Plastic campaign, the mall is handing out canvas bags to shoppers who make a video pledging to cut down on single-use plastics.

Shoppers spotted using their canvas bags can win a Dh250 biodegradable giftcard, to help encourage their continued use.

Small actions done on a daily basis can make a big difference, said Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Director of Business Development & Marketing at Emirates Nature-WWF.

“The good news is that if we all make small changes to our daily habits, like shopping with a re-usable bag, we can help prevent plastic pollution."

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Bee’ah, the company that manages waste for Yas Mall, process 37.50 million plastic bags every month at their Sharjah facility.

But many bags never make it that far, and instead end up in our seas, where they kill birds, mammals, fish and other marine life.

"Over 80 per cent of marine pollution comes from land-based activities,” said Mr Al Nuaimi.

“Marine litter has long been a problem and threatens the lives of many species including whales, turtles, seabirds and fish so it is encouraging to see the great support this initiative received from the local community.”

Plastic bags are used for an average of just 13 minutes before they are disposed.

Yas Mall will sponsor two sea turtles to support an Emirates Nature-WWF research project that tracks sea turtle movement in the Gulf to monitor the health of the marine environment.