A ban on all single-use plastics is in the pipeline for Dubai International (DXB), according to its operator, Dubai Airports.
Dubai’s two airports (DXB and DWC) will soon be free of single-use plastics, highlighting Dubai Airports’ commitment to reducing its environmental impact.
Since its pledge in June 2019, the airport operator has been working with over 250 of its concession and hospitality partners to keep its promise by the beginning of 2020.
With a total of 90 million passengers passing through Dubai’s two airports each year, tens of thousands of plastic items, such as straws, water bottles and coffee cups and lids, are used daily, meaning that this plastic-free initiative will be somewhat of a challenge for all parties involved.
Executive vice president commercial, Dubai Airports, Eugene Barry commented: “This pledge is another step on a long journey to becoming a more environmentally responsible airport. Along with our partners, including global brands such as McDonalds, Costa Coffee and Starbucks, we are committed to not only removing single-use plastics but in their place providing appropriate and importantly sustainable alternatives.”
Dubai Airports will be taking a phased approach to the initiative, with plastic cutlery, drinking straws, take-away food packaging and polythene bags due to be removed from cafés, restaurants and shops at DXB from January 1, 2020. Over the following 12 months, additional products will be replaced both in customer spaces and behind the scenes.
McDonald’s is expected to replace a total of 5,608,740 items with recyclable materials at DXB and DWC, while Costa Coffee has promised to replace its plastic-lined cups with a 100 per cent renewable, plant-based ‘smart’ cup. This will be followed by a coffee cup lid made entirely from wood and paper fibre.
Barry added: “Among the challenges faced, the biggest is sourcing alternatives for plastic bottles, one of the most frequently used and discarded pieces of single-use plastics.
“As we work to reduce and ultimately eliminate plastics from our airports, we are increasing our recycling facilities in the customer spaces and a new partnership that will allow us to properly dispose of thousands of tonnes of single-use plastic each year,” he concluded.