Intensified Calls for Actions to Reduce Plastic Pollution

  • Plastic waste accounts for 34%of the world’s solid waste.
  • 60% of plastic waste ends up in either a landfill or the natural environment.
  • Bupa Arabia drives the digital insurance cards use by its clients up to 99% to replace plastic cards.

Jeddah: There is growing regional and international concern about plastic pollution to the oceans and our natural habitat, especially after the alerts from the Global Environmental Authority (UNEP) this year, drawing attention to the increasing scale of plastic waste and its significant negative impact on the sustainability of the environment and on humans, animals and plants. 

Experts at the Oceans Plastics Crisis Summit pointed out the severity of the issue, and the need to find solutions to help reduce the plastic waste before it turns into an unstoppable disaster.

According to a report issued by the World Bank in 2019, “Plastic Waste” constitutes 34% of solid waste in the world. This report was issued around the same time when the Worldwide Fund for Nature warned of the ever-increasing plastic waste in the Mediterranean.

Extended impact on the environment and human beings

Medical studies have shown the seriousness of plastic when reacting to heat, especially with the containment of the substance “dioxin”, which results in severe risks affecting human health from the leakage of harmful substances into both food and drink.  It is a major cause of diabetes and infertility in both genders men and women, and some animals suffer from a congenital malformation in the genes, in addition to endocrine damage, hormonal disorders, skin problems, and damage to the lung and the immune system.

The 6th Global Environment Outlook report, released by UNEP in 2019, estimated the amount of plastic waste reaching the oceans annually at about 9 million tons, threatening aquatic communities and organisms with an unprecedented rise in plastic pollution.  Only 9% of the world’s nine billion tons of plastic are recycled!

Other information also indicates that most plastics do not biodegrade and remain in the environment for hundreds of years, and continuing indifference and accumulation in large quantities year after year sooner or later will lead to disastrous environmental and health damages and risks.

Saudi & Global Initiatives

At the G20 energy ministers’ meeting organized by Saudi Arabia in 2020, Saudi Arabia adopted the Circular Carbon Economy Scheme, through which emissions can be managed in a comprehensive and integrated manner, with the aim of mitigating the effects of climate challenges, making energy systems cleaner and more sustainable, and enhancing the security and stability of energy markets, and access to them.

The concept of the “circular carbon economy” in its techniques is based on a “closed loop” system, similar to what happens in nature, to restore the balance of the carbon cycle, based on the four strategies of “mitigation, reuse, recycling and removal”.

Digital Cards: A Solution to Reduce Plastic Pollution.

This environmental and climate action to address the “plastic waste crisis” prompted Bupa Arabia for Co-Operative Insurance to affirm its commitment to proactive efforts that contribute to protecting the planet, through digitalization, adopting the initiative of the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) to reduce the use of plastic cards under the “Easier for You” campaign. 

Eng. Alshereef Hamideddin, Marketing Director at Bupa Arabia, explained that this step was achieved thanks to Bupa Arabia’s investments in radically improving and updating all its digital services in line with the latest digital trends map “Global Digital Customer Experiences,” saying: “Bupa Arabia will continue to work to provide unique digital experiences to our customers through our Bupa Click platform, helping them to receive services with ease and flexibility.”

Eng. Hamideddin added: “Since last April, the digital card transactions reached 99% which has had a substantial positive “environmental sustainability” impact.  We previously provided 2 million printed plastic cards, moreover, the digital card initiative was designed and implemented to significantly reduce plastic waste, which is classified as one of the top 20 products in terms of the manufacturing process. This step is an integral part of Bupa Arabia’s environmental objectives, and it intersects with the UNEP Agenda as well.”

Scientists estimate that humans have produced about 8.3 billion tons of plastic since the 1950s, about 60% of which has ended up in landfills or nature, and 99% of plastic is made from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas and coal, all of which are polluting and non-renewable resources.  If current production rates of plastics continue, by 2050 the industry could account for about 20% of the world’s total oil consumption.

About Bupa Arabia:

Bupa Arabia was founded in 1997 as a joint venture between Nazer group and Bupa. It became publically listed company in 2008 with the most successful IPO in industry. Bupa Arabia is considered part of the Bupa Global network. The company delivers health cooperative insurance with international standards for individuals, families and the largest companies and establishments in the Kingdom. It also has a large network of care providers adding up to 1.2 million entities across 190 countries. Bupa Arabia is considered more than just a traditional health insurance company as it provides the most innovative healthcare services through its Tebtom program and insures an exceptional hospital experience through its Rahatkom program. 

Bupa Arabia is characterized by a work environment that stimulates innovation and productivity

– a reputation further enhanced by several awards and industry recognitions. It is also considered one of the leading companies in women enablement and attracting Saudi Arabian youth, achieving over 70% Saudization rate.