One year of Dubai Can: Initiative cuts use of 7 million plastic bottles as 50 stations give out free refillable water

Many private companies have also installed water fountains in their offices, reducing single-use plastics at the workplace


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Photo: Dubai Can
Photo: Dubai Can

Published: Sun 19 Feb 2023, 5:13 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Feb 2023, 8:20 PM

Dubai Can, a city-wide sustainability movement launched last year, has reduced the use of an equivalent of more than 7 million 500-ml single-use plastic water bottles in 12 months. The initiative sees participation from homes, offices, hotels and schools, with the installation of 50 stations that give out free water in different locations.

Dubai Can has placed water stations in public parks, beaches, and popular tourist destinations, with the help of its partners and sponsors. These include Kite Beach, Dubai Marina, and Downtown Dubai. The coolers were recently added in four additional locations: Hatta, Dubai Sports City, Port Rashid, and Dubai Internet City.

All water stations throughout the city adhere to the “highest hygiene standards and comply strictly with municipal, healthcare, and federal regulations.” The stations provide clean and safe drinking water, which is tested in accordance with local, Gulf and World Health Organisation standards.

Many private companies have installed water fountains in their offices, reducing single-use plastics at the workplace.

The initiative aligns with the ban on single-use plastic bags, which came into effect on June 1, 2022.

Yousuf Lootah, acting CEO of Corporate Strategy and Performance sector at Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said: “We are extremely proud of the progress the initiative has made and we hope that during this year and beyond, (it) will continue to encourage residents and tourists to adopt greener practices and lifestyle choices contributing to the Dubai Economic Agenda D33’s goal of consolidating Dubai’s status as one of the world’s top three global cities.”

Photo: Yousuf Lootah
Photo: Yousuf Lootah

The initiative has inspired “significant change” at both the individual and community level over the past year. Its objective is to increase awareness of the harmful effects of single-use plastics and promote the use of reusable bottles.

The initiative is in line with Dubai’s commitment to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and becoming a fully sustainable destination, especially since the city is the host of COP28 this year.


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