UAE Takes a Step Towards Sustainability with New Food-Grade Plastic Recycling Facility
UAE Takes a Step Towards Sustainability with New Food-Grade Plastic Recycling Facility

UAE Takes a Step Towards Sustainability with New Food-Grade Plastic Recycling Facility

  • 20-Jan-2023 2:41 PM
  • Journalist: Peter Schmidt

Abu Dhabi (UAE): Abu Dhabi is the chosen home for a 12,000 tonne per annum Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) recycling plant. This effort by the UAE seeks to reduce plastic pollution and promote trade through the export of recycled materials. The plant will recycle PET, a type of plastic commonly used in food packaging such as water bottles.

A 40,000 sqm facility in Abu Dhabi is projected to generate 100 jobs and reduce CO2 emissions by 18,000 metric tonnes each year at maximum capacity.

Representatives from Repeet, BEEAH Group, and Agthia signed an MoU to study the feasibility of a project in the presence of members of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

The partnership is in line with (MoIAT) recent ministerial decree to regulate the trade of recycled plastic water bottles.

This partnership seeks to enable the manufacturing of water bottles made with recycled plastic, in accordance with the highest public health and food safety standards. As more local water bottling companies join the circular economy, they are expected to use more recycled plastic for their packaging, which is projected to lead to a reduction of 50,000 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions each year and add Dhs150m annually to national in-country value. Additionally, it is estimated that this will create over 1,000 new jobs.

Omar Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of (MoIAT), stated “As we approach COP28, the ministry will continue to amplify the important initiatives that fall under the national industrial strategy. For instance, we will utilize Make it in the Emirates to attract international investors and companies to engage with the UAE’s industrial sector to help us unlock the opportunities associated with industrial transformation and circular economy. These opportunities will ultimately help to build a more sustainable, efficient, and competitive industrial sector, supporting not only the national economy, but also the global climate agenda,” Al Suwaidi added.

As part of the project, Repeet will oversee operating the recycling plant while BEEAH Group contributes a seven-year supply of plastics. Agthia, on the other hand, will provide a seven-year offtake service for products. The feedstock consists of post-consumed PET bottle bales and the offtakes will be comprised of food-grade recycled PET resin.

Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of BEEAH Group, proclaimed “Aligning closely with the national vision and contributing to the UAE’s sustainability targets have been the driving force for our organization as we develop and implement circular economy solutions through our waste management business.

Through this agreement, we can now further support the UAE’s sustainability agenda and accelerate the circular economy. We are honoured to partner with (MoIAT), Repeet and Veolia to tackle the important issue of plastic pollution and make a positive impact together on a larger scale.”

In 2022, the UAE saw the launch of a global B2B digital trading platform for recycled plastics.

Rebound Plastic Exchange (RPX), a subsidiary of International Holding Company in the UAE, was launched with world leaders from government, business, and civil society in attendance. Discussions focused on enabling global circularity through plastic trading and satisfying demand.

RPX will feature specification sheets, tailored to each listing on the marketplace and endorsed by industry membership association RECOUP. This will ensure transparency and enable cross-border trades.

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