Posted on February 16, 2014

Following the tremendous success of its Waste Free Environment initiative last year, this year’s event will be extended this year to three more locations, including Sohar, Oman; Mesaieed, Qatar; and Manama, Bahrain, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA).

Launched in 2013, the Waste Free Environment campaign is a community based environmental initiative organised by the GPCA.  The campaign is designed to help educate the public about the need to preserve the environment and reduce the irresponsible disposal of waste.The 2014 edition will involve volunteers from member companies and schools cleaning up specific areas across nine locations in the GCC on February 20.

The Waste Free Environment campaign plays a key part in GPCA’s activities as a signatory to the global “Declarations for Solutions on Marine Litter”.  All industry associations who are signatories to the declaration actively partner with governments, NGOs and the general public to encourage recycling and discourage littering. 

“Behavioural change is the key to solving the region’s persistent litter problem”, said Dr. Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA.“And education is a key component to behaviour change. Through a heightened awareness of the 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover) the maximum economic, environmental and social benefits of plastics can be realised.”

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Recycling rates in the GCC have been estimated at less than 10% of total waste, according to GPCA research. Of the 80 million tons of waste generated in the Gulf each year, plastic waste is responsible for approximately one third or 26 million tons of waste.

“The Waste Free Environment program seeks to not only clean up public spaces, but also to educate people about proper waste disposal and recycling,” explains Dr. Sadoun. “As a by- product of oil and gas, plastics provide essential economic, environmental and social  benefits for the region”

GPCA is actively committed to the encouragement of waste management and public education practices that help to preserve our resources while continuing to improve the standard of living. GPCA continues to work with regional governments and communities in this regard.

Now in its second year, the campaign was originally called the ‘Clean Up the Gulf’. The inaugural edition of the campaign saw participation from over 2,500 volunteers who collected 10,000 kilograms of waste. Employees from major regional petrochemical companies including Borouge, Sabic, Equate, GPIC, Natpet, Orpic, Qapco, Sahara, Sadara and Tasnee will also participate in the 2014 Waste Free Environment campaign.

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