Glass recycling in the UAE Hospitality Industry key to meeting sustainability goals
Climate change and Waste management are two major environmental issues being tackled by the UAE government and are now constantly driving initiatives to reduce waste and improve recycling. UAE landfills are filling up quickly, with population and economic growth dramatically increasing waste quantities in the country. While there’s no silver bullet to solve the environmental issue, technology and the UAE hospitality industry together can really make a difference.
“Glass is a major packaging material and it takes 1 million years for a glass bottle to decompose in the environment. It is estimated that 156 million empty glass bottles or 39,000 tons enter the UAE waste stream every year. Since the majority of these glass bottle waste comes from the major 4&5 star hotels, imagine the environmental benefits if only 25% of this glass waste were used as feedstock to manufacture new glass containers,” states Erickson Daiz, Brand Manager of Technical Supplies and Services Co. LLC (TSSC).
The hospitality industry, growing at 7% annually, with revenues forecast to reach US$9.8 billion by 2020, is a key player in any environmental program. The Emirate of Dubai hosted over 9 million tourists in 2016 only, and 25 million visitors are expected in 2020 to attend the World Expo.
Glass bottles for food and beverages, largely used by hotels and restaurants, are 100% recyclable. With the use of cullets in glass manufacturing, water pollution is reduced by 50%, greenhouse gases are cut down by 24.8%, while re-melting glass cullets consumes 40% less energy and saves 300kgs of CO2, compared to manufacturing glass from raw materials.
By 2021, the UAE National Agenda aims to reduce landfill by 75%, and protect the environment from methane gas emitted by the same. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi pursues an ambitious plan to divert 85% of its waste from dumping grounds by 2018, while Dubai Municipality's Integrated Waste Management Master Plan aims to reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfill to zero by 2032.
In order to support the achievement of these visionary goals, “Government support and various public awareness programs are essential, to spur change in mindset and encourage the use of cullets for glass manufacturing. Empty glass bottle waste should also be recognised as a valuable recyclable commodity,” Mr. Daiz explains.
Ahead of Gulf Glass 2017, the largest flat & container glass event in the region, where TSSC is presenting the new range of PEL Bottle Crushers, attention is drawn to the high potential of glass recycling within the hospitality industry. According to Mr. Daiz, “For hotels and restaurants, the reduction of the empty glass bottles to cullets is a simple in-house labour-saving, self-financing exercise, which creates added value and transforms the empty glass bottles into a valuable saleable commodity.”
When empty bottles are returned to the bar or service area, they can be easily inserted into the bottle crusher instead of being thrown into waste bins to be managed at a later stage. “By reducing the empty glass bottles to cullets to manufacture new glass bottles, the world’s first national closed-loop glass bottle recycling programme is created,” states Mr. Daiz.
TSSC also made a strategic partnership with Omega Glass to act as the preprocessor of cullets or crushed glass collected from hotel establishments in the UAE.
Hotel brands in the region including Jumeirah already adopted the PEL Bottle Crushers, as part of their CSR and environmental programs. “Glass is the simplest and safest packaging recycling solution: if properly collected, glass can be recycled in a closed loop,” confirms Muhammed Kazi, Event Director of Gulf Glass.
From 25 to 27 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Gulf Glass will host 140 leading suppliers of finished products, glass production technology and machinery, glass processing & finishing solutions, measurement, testing & control technology, tools, replacements and spare parts, as well as auxiliary equipment and fitting. TSSC, the Dubai-based marketing arm of Orwell International, the strategic partner and sole distributor of PEL, a specialist Irish designer and manufacturer of Waste Reduction Equipment, will also showcase its newest PEL Bottle Crushers.
Gulf Glass is sponsored by Mountain Glass, Tecpro and Forel as Gold Sponsors, in addition to Glass Source as the Exclusive Glass Solutions Sponsor.
Organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, Gulf Glass 2017 is co-located with The Big 5 Outdoor, Design & Build Show, FM Expo, and Windows, Doors & Façades, and runs at the DWTC’s Halls 4 and 5.