Dubai Can saves 18 million bottles in 2 years in fight against single-use plastics

Dubai installed 50 water fountains, plans 30 more by year's end
Dubai Can saves 18 million bottles in 2 years in fight against single-use plastics
Dubai has served as an inspiration for many private companies to install water fountains in their office. (Photo Credit: Dubai Can)

Dubai Can, the city’s sustainability initiative, has achieved a significant reduction in the consumption of approximately 18 million 500ml single-use plastic water bottles within just two years since its inception.

Read more: Dubai Can initiative cuts single-use plastic bottle usage by 3.5 million

Through collaboration with partners and sponsors, Dubai Can has strategically installed 50 public water stations in various locations throughout the city, including parks and popular tourist destinations. These stations have dispensed nearly nine million liters of water.

Minimizing disposable plastic bottle usage

The launch of Dubai Can took place on February 15, 2022, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai. Additionally, the initiative aims to minimize the use of disposable plastic water bottles, empower residents and visitors to actively participate in building a more sustainable future, and contribute to the conservation of wildlife and the marine environment.

This initiative further aligns with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the emirate into a leading sustainable destination. Also, it is part of a broader endeavor to reduce the reliance on single-use plastics and promote a shift in mindset among the city’s residents and visitors towards sustainability.

Dubai Can
(Photo Credit: Dubai Can)

Alignment with Dubai 2040 Urban Masterplan

Dubai Can’s objectives also support the Dubai 2040 Urban Masterplan and Dubai’s commitment to helping the UAE achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and UAE NetZero 2050 targets.

With the UAE’s “Year of Sustainability” extended into 2024, the Dubai Can initiative plans to expand further. By the end of the year, 30 additional water fountains will be installed in various locations across the city. This expansion aims to encourage residents and visitors to adopt simple lifestyle changes such as using refillable water bottles and installing water filters in their homes, offices, and schools.

Motivating sustainable behaviors

Moreover, Dubai has served as an inspiration for many private companies to install water fountains in their offices, thereby reducing the consumption of single-use plastics in the workplace. Most importantly, the movement has motivated residents and visitors to the UAE to embrace more sustainable behaviors and become conscientious consumers.

All water stations across the city strictly adhere to the highest hygiene standards and comply with municipal, healthcare, and federal regulations. These stations provide clean and safe drinking water, which undergoes rigorous testing in accordance with the standards set by Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), Gulf Cooperation Council, and the World Health Organization. By promoting a “refill culture,” the drinking water from these stations is kept cool at 10°C, offering people a refreshing, clean, and safe alternative.

On average, a resident in the UAE uses around 450 plastic water bottles per year, resulting in a staggering four billion plastic bottles being used annually throughout the country. The Dubai Can initiative will continue to encourage residents and visitors to contribute to waste reduction efforts and prevent millions of plastic bottles from ending up in landfills and oceans.

Dubai Can
(Photo Credit: Dubai Can)

Dubai Reef

In addition to Dubai Can, another notable project called Dubai Reef was launched in December 2023. This ambitious undertaking involves the development of one of the world’s largest marine reefs. Dubai Reef aims to increase fish stocks, support sustainable fishing practices, enhance food security, and play a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions and promoting marine biodiversity.

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