The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has introduced a range of 'Big Zero' installations throughout Abu Dhabi, which will act as collection points for the public to deposit single-use plastic bottles for recycling. The installations will be placed in prime locations with high footfall such as malls, parks and events.

The 'Big Zero' installations are part of the larger Mission to Zero campaign. The public-facing comprehensive campaign aims to achieve an aspirational zero target for single-use plastic consumption, carbon emissions, waste, and harm to biodiversity in Abu Dhabi.

The installations will be mobile and will move to different places in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra Region to ensure that the capital is fully covered.

ADNEC Group hosted the first three installations of three large 'Big Zero' at ADNEC during the Abu Dhabi Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, which takes place from 26th September to 2nd October, where the Agency will have a dedicated presence to foster awareness around the goals of Mission to Zero.

Ahmed Baharoon, Executive Director of Environment Information, Science Outreach Management Division at EAD, said: “Mission to Zero is a multi-faceted outreach campaign where we are striving the get all residents of Abu Dhabi to join us in achieving the zero target of single-use plastic consumption. To support this aim, we are introducing 'Big Zero' installations that the public will be able to find in hotspots around Abu Dhabi, where they can deposit single-use plastic bottles for recycling purposes. We have signed an agreement with plastic collection and recycling service provider who will be responsible for the recycling of the bottles.”

He added: “At EAD we like to think big – hence the name of the installations and we are certain that we will be able to collect a remarkable amount of bottles and avoid the public disposing of them in a way that harms our environment. We encourage Abu Dhabi residents to start collecting their single-use plastic bottles and heading to the nearest 'Big Zero' installation.”

Another element of Mission to Zero is the schools' 'Pile it Up' Campaign - a challenge launched in Abu Dhabi schools that encourages them to compete in the collection of the most single-use plastic bottles for recycling. Furthermore, EAD has tasked young people to visit small grocery stores (baqalas) with posters to educate them on the harms of single-use plastic and encourage them to use more eco-friendly alternatives.

Mission to Zero is a component of the Single-Use Plastic Policy launched by EAD in 2020, and the implementation of a ban on single-use plastic bags in Abu Dhabi officially began on June 1st 2022. Major retailers such as Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society and Spar, Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, Choithrams, Spinneys and Waitrose are now offering multi-use grocery bags.