Plastic ban in Abu Dhabi: 4-year-olds make paper bags for storekeepers in eco-friendly drive

This initiative that aligns with the nation's continuation of 'Year of Sustainability', was supported by the parents of the kindergarteners


Ashwani Kumar

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Fri 17 May 2024, 1:41 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 May 2024, 2:56 PM

“Uncle, please use paper bags and say no to plastic,” a group of kindergarten students from a private school in Abu Dhabi told a shopkeeper at a grocery store while presenting him a bunch of paper bags.

This week, KG1 and KG2 students from Sunrise English Private School in Abu Dhabi gave out handmade paper bags to storekeepers, as part of an eco-friendly drive that supports the government’s policy to ban single-use plastics.

In the past weeks, the students created paper bags in their classrooms, an activity initiated by school principal Dr Thakur S. Mulchandani and headmistress Ann Felix.

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This activity that aligns with the nation's continuation of 'Year of Sustainability', building on the success of last year's theme was supported by the parents of these young eco-warriors.

“We are proud that our children and school have been making constant efforts to raise environmental awareness at a time when climate change has become a serious issue,” a parent said.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

The ban on single-use plastic bags has been in effect in Abu Dhabi since June 2022. This contributed to 245 million plastic bags left unused in 2023, according to the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.

Dr Mulchandani told Khaleej Times that the objective of the campaign was to educate little learners on the importance of not using plastic. The children, assisted by their teachers, enthusiastically created paper bags to help shape a sustainable future.

“The initiative aimed not only to raise awareness but also to empower the children to be active participants in environmental conservation. Armed with posters stating the harmful effects of plastic bags on the environment, the young eco-warriors eagerly distributed their handmade bags to nearby storekeepers,” Dr Mulchandani said.

The preschoolers handed out the paper bags at the stores in the Shabiya neighbourhood, where their school is located. The response from the storekeepers was positive, as they gratefully received the paper bags made by the kindergarteners.

“We will be using these paper bags. We will inform our customers about who has made these paper bags. Such small initiatives can make a big impact,” a storekeeper said.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Kindergarten garden

The school also unveiled a new kindergarten garden, providing five-year-old kids with a hands-on opportunity to connect with nature, and understand the importance of a green environment.

This garden within the school premises serves as a living classroom where children can learn about plant growth, as well as learn about the delicate balance of ecosystems.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Headmistress Ann pointed out that by nurturing their own plants, the young learners develop a profound appreciation for the natural world and the need to protect it for future generations.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

“At Sunrise, we believe in fostering not just academic excellence, but also environmental stewardship. By instilling a sense of responsibility and respect for the planet from a tender age, we are nurturing eco-conscious citizens who will lead the way towards a greener, more sustainable future,” she said and pointed out that the initiative proved that “even the smallest hands can make a big difference in safeguarding planet Earth”.


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