The UAE's Circular Economy Council, at its second meeting for 2023, has focused on accelerating the implementation of the circular economy policy in four main sectors -- manufacturing, food, infrastructure and transport.
Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President and CEO of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), said: "To understand how the circular economy works, we must also realise how essential it is to integrate its principles into various aspects of the economic value chain. In order to achieve our collective goal of reaching net zero emissions, we need to preserve limited resources, such as natural materials and precious metals, and the global circular trade system, not just production and consumption.
“We must also commit to accurate assessment, research analysis, and redesigning our current systems worldwide to ensure a comprehensive and smooth transition from the traditional linear economy model to the circular one."
Mariam bint Mohammed Al Muhairi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, pointed to the importance of enhancing the circular economy model and its pivotal role in consolidating the three principles of recycling represented in eliminating waste, reducing material and resource consumption, and reducing harmful emissions.
Almheiri said: "The meeting of the UAE Council for the Circular Economy coincides with World Environment Day, which this year the world is celebrating with a focus on the need to find solutions for plastic pollution, a major component of the circular economy. In the UAE, we work on this approach by finding and implementing recycling solutions, waste management and other efforts, notably creating policies to prevent food loss and waste and managing single-use products."
She added: "The importance of the circular economy is highlighted during the Year of Sustainability and our preparation to host the Conference of the Parties (COP28) this year. This motivates us to push efforts towards achieving the goals of the UAE's NetZero 2050 strategic initiative. We, in turn, support various contributions and projects undertaken by our partners from federal and governmental bodies and private sector companies, which support the UAE's vision towards enabling a circular economy capable of enhancing our economic competitiveness and building a more sustainable future."
The meeting - hosted by Envirol Recycling Plant, Alserkal - was also attended by representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Alserkal Group, Borouge, and technology company IBM.
Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, Chairman of the Policy Committee of the UAE Circular Economy Council, said: "The UAE has taken positive and accelerated steps towards developing an integrated system for the circular economy, in line with global best practices. This is done through our commitment to launching initiatives and national policies that support sustainable economic and social development, including the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2031, which represents a roadmap to support national efforts in the transition towards a circular economic model based on sustainability and development by the next decade, improving the local and global environment, and ensuring a more prosperous future for current and future generations, in light of the UAE Centennial 2071 determinants."
Al Marri added: "The Policy Committee of the UAE Circular Economy Council has made significant progress in developing and implementing 22 circular economy policies within four main sectors, namely manufacturing, infrastructure, food, and transport. These sectors drive sustainable growth within the country's vision for the next fifty years. The committee works continuously and intensively in cooperation with its partners from the public and private sectors to fully implement these policies, which contribute to improving the use of natural, material, and environmental resources, thereby consolidating the UAE's position as a global centre for the circular economy."
He pointed out that the meeting at the Alserkal Envierul Station underscores the importance of enhancing the partnership between the public and private sectors in the country to support sustainable development for the state, as this station is the first facility to recycle food waste, grease, and oils at the regional level.
The main developments regarding the circular economy were addressed during the meeting. The plans presented by the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure, Al Serkal Group, Borouge & Circularity and IBM were also reviewed.
The plan presented by the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment addressed the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in terms of setting standards, reporting, and monitoring of food loss and waste, as well as separating waste in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings at source. The plan also looks at creating a national database of materials from collection to recycling and conservation.
The Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure’s plans addressed several issues, including the standardisation of electric vehicle charging systems in the country to ensure compliance with the best charging system standards and the country's electric vehicle infrastructure. The plan also envisages the completion of a standardised manual for the readiness of electric vehicle infrastructure, as well Green Charging and Bio-Directional Charging. This also aims to identify the technical specifications for bi-directional charging using EVs. The plan also explores options to deploy Sustainable Aviation fuel throughout the country.
Role of AI
"Al Serkal Group" presented on the company's sustainability journey and circular economy, as well as the role of artificial intelligence in this field. "Borouge & Circularity, the pioneer in unique polymer solutions, focused its plans to enable post-consumer recycling, develop new solutions, enhance efforts to build cooperation across the value chain, establish a new packaging centre of excellence, and leading a circular economy free of plastic waste.
"IBM" demonstrated its recent sustainability technology solutions, underlining the importance of artificial intelligence in enabling a circular economy, as well as sustainability software, systems, and supply chains. IBM’s plan also emphasised that artificial intelligence and the rate of automation will increase the visibility, adaptability, and sustainability of the supply chain.-- TradeArabia News Service