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World Environment Day Commentary

by Mohammad Ghazal

World Environment Day (June 5th) is an important occasion that allows individuals and organisations worldwide to reflect on our environmental impact. This year’s theme for World Environment Day is #BeatPlasticPollution, highlighting the urgent need to address one of the most significant environmental challenges facing our world: plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution is a global crisis that has a devastating impact on our planet and our health. Every year, millions of tonnes of plastic waste end up in our oceans, rivers, and landfills, causing harm to wildlife and ecosystems. Plastic pollution also poses a significant threat to human health, as microplastics have been found in our food and water.

Sustainable measures and practices are, therefore, no longer a “nice-to-have”, but a “must”, a business imperative. Recycling and reusing in their current format alone are not sufficient methods of combating the issue; instead, we need to collectively take steps to consider and manage usage and consumption for the protection of the planet and future generations.

This has been a key driver for the numerous initiatives we have rolled out across Laundryheap to build a sustainable model across our operations and reduce our carbon footprint. This includes using eco-friendly detergents, improving waste collection, scaling up our recycling efforts, switching to recyclable plastics and eliminating unrecyclable materials from the supply chain. We encourage our customers to use the reusable laundry bags we supply (free of charge), which helps to further minimise the amount of single-use plastic waste generated by our services.

We also leverage our powerful logistics support team and state-of-the-art routing technology to channel sustainable route optimisation. This allows our drivers to route their journeys more efficiently, reducing both carbon emissions and time. In 2022 alone, this led to a saving of thousands of litres of fuel.

But our efforts alone are not enough. We need a collective effort from individuals, businesses, and governments around the world to #BeatPlasticPollution. It is encouraging to see the ambitious targets the UAE has set for reducing plastic waste and increasing recycling rates.

The ban on single-use plastics starting in 2024 will reduce the amount of plastic waste generated and encourage consumers and businesses to adopt more sustainable alternatives. The ban will also be crucial in helping Dubai achieve zero waste to landfill by 2030. A positive indication of the strides made to date is the 80% decrease retailers have already seen in single-use bag usage since last year’s introduction of a 25 fils charge in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Nevertheless, advancing environmentally friendly initiatives is everyone’s duty. While every step towards a more sustainable future is another step towards protecting our ecosystem, collectively we are much more powerful. As the inspiring Helen Keller once said, “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

By Mayur Bommai, Co-Founder, Chief of Global Logistics, Laundryheap

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