Recycling and Ramadan: Reducing your environmental impact this Ramadan Season
Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and spiritual reflection, is a time of great significance for the Muslim community. This annual observance brings about significant changes in lifestyle and routines for Muslims worldwide, especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where it is observed with great reverence.
The Impact of Ramadan on Waste Production
During Ramadan in the UAE, there is a significant increase in waste production, and according to data from the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Centre (Tadweer) , over 100,000 tonnes of waste were collected in Abu Dhabi during the holy month of Ramadan. This is largely due to the increase in food consumption and wastage, and the use of disposable plates and cutlery during iftar gatherings. This increase in waste production can have negative consequences for the environment, including increased greenhouse gas emissions, pollution of land and water, and depletion of natural resources.
The UAE has termed 2023 the year of sustainability and will be hosting “The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference” later this year, and Ramadan offers a unique opportunity to focus on sustainable practices during the holy month. Fortunately, there are several options available for individuals in the UAE to reduce and recycle waste during Ramadan. Here are some of them:
From excess food to disposable plastics, there are many areas where we can make changes that will help protect the planet. By being mindful of our consumption and waste, we can make Ramadan a time of sustainability and responsible stewardship.
You can reduce waste during Ramadan by;
- Reducing food waste: Food waste is a significant problem during Ramadan, where large amounts of food are often prepared but not consumed. To reduce food waste, individuals and businesses can plan their meals better, donate excess food to charitable organizations, and compost food scraps. Learn more here.
- Avoid single-use plastics: During Ramadan, there is often an increase in the consumption of bottled water, disposable plates, and utensils. Consider using reusable water bottles and investing in a set of durable dishes and utensils to reduce plastic waste. Explore available options here.
- Using eco-friendly packaging: With an increase in food delivery and takeaway during Ramadan, there is also an increase in packaging waste. Using eco-friendly packaging made from sustainable materials, such as biodegradable or recyclable materials, can help reduce this waste. Discover alternatives here.
The government and private sector have made efforts to promote sustainability and environmental responsibility especially during the holy month. There are two main ways to recycle in the UAE: door to door collection and collection points.
Door to door collection is an easy to use and convenient option for those who want to recycle but have busy schedules or do not have access to a nearby collection point. This service is provided by waste management companies, who pick up recyclables from homes and businesses on a regular basis.
- Recyclable materials that are typically collected through door-to-door collection services include paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal.
- Some examples of Government owned waste management options are Tadweer Waste Management Centre, Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Agency, and Dulsco.
- Some private waste management companies with door to door options in the UAE are Bee’ah, The Recapp Service Initiative, and Planet Green Recycling.
And if you are frequently running out of storage space while waiting for a pick up schedule, take your recyclables to one of the many collection points. Collection points can be found throughout the UAE, often in shopping malls, public parks, and other public areas. Materials accepted at collection points vary depending on the location, and it is important to ensure that the recyclables are clean and free of contaminants.
- Generally, collection points accept paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal. Some collection points may also accept other items such as glass, electronics, and batteries.
- A few examples of waste management options with collection points are Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), Tadweer, and Dubai Recycles.
Smartbins are not typically grouped under either door-to-door or collection point recycling options, but they can complement both systems by improving waste management, increasing convenience and offering incentives that encourage individuals to recycle more during Ramadan, and throughout the year.
This Ramadan offers a unique opportunity to focus on sustainable practices and promote a cleaner and healthier environment in the UAE. By incorporating sustainable practices into their Ramadan celebrations, individuals and businesses can contribute to the country’s efforts towards sustainability and climate action.