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‘Plastic Bag-Free Weekend’ a hit with shoppers in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain’s major supermarkets

United Arab Emirates: Sunday, February 27 - 2011 @ 16:43

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) today announced that during the weekend of March 3-5, Abu Dhabi’s Khalidya Mall will be hosting a Kids’ Corner in where children of all ages can learn about the dangers of plastic bags through fun activities such as face painting, drawing and colouring. Children will also be able to hear Abdul Muqeet Abdul Mannan, fondly known in the community as ‘The Paper Boy,’ who will be delivering a special workshop for them on how to transform paper into useful things such as envelopes and bags.

The outlets that participated in the ‘Plastic Bag-Free Weekend’ included the Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society, Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, Spinneys, Abela, Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall, Khalidya Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Wahda Mall as well as Al Jimi Mall and Al Bawadi Mall in Al Ain city. Thousands of customers entering these outlets were served by cashiers and bag packers trained to minimize the use of plastic bags.

The weekend was part of the ‘Make UAE Plastic Bag Free’ campaign, which was launched by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) in cooperation with major supermarkets and malls and is supported by the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water and the Centre for Waste Management – Abu Dhabi. The campaign is in support of the government’s initiative to phase out the use of plastic bags in the UAE by 2013.

Moreover, this weekend, shoppers at Lulu Hypermarket and Abu Dhabi’s Khalidya Mall were greeted by the campaign mascot ‘Jamila the Camela,’ who will continue to tour the Emirate of Abu Dhabi with her next stop being Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall.

“EAD has been contacted by shoppers expressing their enthusiasm and their support for this campaign. This shows that people are willing to do their bit for the environment. The ‘Plastic Bag-Free Weekend’ was just the beginning. This campaign will continue to roll out activities throughout the year,” said Eduardo Gonçalves, Director, Environmental Awareness Sector, EAD.

“We are already starting to discuss further awareness initiatives with our partners and stakeholders. We are confident that we will achieve our shared goal of helping rid the UAE of non-biodegradable plastic bags,” he added.

“I stopped by one of the big supermarkets this weekend to pick up a few items for a barbeque I was planning. I was already feeling guilty at the thought of using yet another plastic bag for just a small amount of items, so I was happy to receive a sustainable bag from the bag packer instead of a plastic bag. I believe this campaign is really going to get people to think and now I have a bag that I can re-use every time I go back to the store,” Zeina Waddah Al Masri, a shopper said.

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Sunday, February 27- 2011 @ 16:43 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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