Bee’ah, Unilever collaborate to tackle plastic pollution in UAE

ABU DHABI, 15th January, 2020 (WAM) -- Bee’ah, the Middle East’s sustainability pioneer, and Unilever Gulf, one of the region’s leading suppliers of beauty and personal care, home care, and food and refreshment products, announced a Memorandum of Understanding at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020 to explore collaboration in an end-to-end integrated plastic recycling management system, through ambitious plans for a new recycling plant in the UAE.

Given Bee’ah’s expertise in waste management and recycling, this partnership supports the UAE's Vision 2021 targets to divert waste from landfills, as well as Unilever’s latest sustainability commitments that seek to reduce its plastic waste and help create a circular economy for plastics.

"Bee’ah is leading the charge for sustainability and a circular economy in the UAE. This agreement with Unilever addresses plastic pollution through a holistic approach and how Bee’ah can become a strategic partner that supports companies with their environmental, social and governance targets," said Khaled Al Huraimel, Bee’ah Group CEO.

"At Unilever, we believe that our packaging is our responsibility and while plastic has its place, that place is not the environment. We are therefore committed to collecting more than we sell, to ensure the development of a circular economy locally and are delighted to partner with Bee’ah on this important agenda," said Sanjiv Kakkar, Executive Vice President of Unilever MENA, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus & Turkey.

As part of the agreement, both companies will explore the use of reverse vending machines, RVMs, to help collect plastic waste. Launched in 2011, Bee’ah’s RVMs have been a successful community development project that encourages UAE residents to leave a positive impact on the environment.

Bee’ah and Unilever will also undertake feasibility studies to jointly invest in a new plastic recycling facility, with the capacity to recycle plastic waste and produce 14,400 tonnes of recycled high-density polyethylene and polypropylene annually. Closing the loop, Unilever will be able to purchase the produced post-consumer resin to be incorporated in its product packaging.

In addition to the plastic waste collection and recycling efforts, Bee’ah and Unilever will aim to collaborate towards the implementation of a community awareness outreach initiative. This involves co-developing educational content to be added on the Bee’ah School of Environment, BSOE, platform – which has a reach of over 250,000 students, 5,000 teachers and 1,000 registered users – and to include a new category of recyclables as part of the BSOE’s Interschool Recycling Competition.


WAM/Rasha Abubaker