The launch event was attended by H.E. Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
The Association is the product of a partnership between various sectors and the first of its kind to drive a notable transformation in the packaging value chain.
Dubai, UAE: The Circular Packaging Association (CPA), a public-private partnership across the packaging value chain, has announced its official launch in the UAE.
The launch – planned ahead of Global Recycling Day on March 18th – was officiated by Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, in addition to representatives from the Circular Packaging Association’s 14 founding organizations in Dubai Chambers. Representatives from the Executive Committee of COP28, Dubai Chambers, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, GPCA, Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi and Emirates Nature-WWF were also in attendance.
Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri said: “The UAE is committed to the implementation of a circular economy to ensure the sustainable management and effective use of natural resources. Packaging is an important resource to help protect food, prolong product shelf life, and reduce environmental impact by reducing waste. The Circular Packaging Association is an important step towards implementing the UAE’s ambitions to promote sustainable practices in various key sectors, especially that it was launched during the ‘Year of Sustainability’. As the Emirates plays host to COP28 later this year, we will strive to present our vision for advancing environmental efforts and climate action around the world, where issues like reducing plastic waste and optimizing its use will make a significant chunk of the discussions.”
“The UAE considers promoting a circular economy an utmost priority, and this is evident in our launch of the Circular Economy Policy 2021-2030,” H.E. Almheiri added. “To achieve the Policy’s ambitious objectives, the UAE works to ensure full cooperation with all stakeholders, and particularly, the private sector, who we consider to be a primary partner in our efforts to implement our strategic objectives. The circular economy plays an important role in the UAE’s plans to cut carbon emissions and reduce pollution, which accelerates our progress towards climate neutrality in the UAE by 2050.”
Her Excellency stressed that the Circular Packaging Association can make significant contributions towards raising awareness among UAE consumers about sustainable packaging, providing insight and recommendations for legislation and policies on sustainable packaging at the federal and local levels.
Meanwhile, H.E. Faisal Juma Khalfan Belhoul, Vice Chairman of Dubai Chambers, said: “In line with our role to support and protect the interests of Dubai’s business community and build a bridge between the private sector and the government, we, at Dubai Chambers, continue to form sector-specific business groups to boost competitiveness and drive Dubai’s economic growth. The Circular Packaging Association is a key business group that promotes Dubai’s circular economy and sustainability agendas. It is focused on raising awareness about sustainable packaging and clean production methods while supporting sustainable environment policies and regulations. This is timely and relevant as we gear up for COP28 this year in Dubai.”
For her part, Priya Sarma, Chairperson of the Circular Packaging Association and Head of Sustainability & Corporate Affairs at Unilever Middle East, said: “Members of the Circular Packaging Association are committed to diverting packaging waste from landfill and contributing to the UAE’s waste-free ambitions utilizing a data-based, multi-stakeholder approach. The official launch that took place today builds on our on-going efforts and is reflective of a collaborative approach that aims to generate innovative solutions to eliminate packaging waste from the environment, while recovering its value as a resource.”
The Circular Packaging Association aims to integrate the principles of a circular and green economy into the packaging value chain in the UAE, transforming the current linear system, which is based on the concept of buying, using, and disposing of products, into one that considers post-consumption packaging waste as a valuable resource that can be reused. The Association aspires to raise awareness among consumers and provide recommendations on legislation and policies related to circular packaging, through a data-driven and multi-stakeholder approach.
The Circular Packaging Association is the result of work initiated in 2019 by founding members of the CIRCLE Coalition for innovation in recycling towards a circular economy. CIRLCE was formalized under the sponsorship of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment via the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a circular economy for packaging across the GCC. In 2019, the members of CIRCLE funded a study to investigate the barriers and enablers of a circular economy for post-consumer packaging in the UAE.
In 2022, CIRCLE was invited to join the UAE Circular Economy Council’s Policy Committee. A study provided a comprehensive set of policy recommendations to accelerate the establishment of a circular economy in the UAE, 12 of which were approved as policy recommendations by the Circular Economy Council.
Founding members of the Circular Packaging Association come from leading companies across different sectors including BASF; Borouge; Dow; McDonalds UAE; Majid Al Futtaim; Nestle; PepsiCo.; Procter & Gamble; The Coca-Cola Company, Middle East; The Agthia Group; Tetra Pak and Unilever. Participating Not-for-Profit associations and NGOs include the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) and Emirates Nature – WWF.